Los Angeles and San Francisco

Call Us Today

LA (310) - 228 - 6215 SF (415) - 336 - 3001

Blog >> Has Google Done It Again?



64-year-old software engineer Robert Heath is the latest individual to accuse tech giant Google of discrimination based on age. Age discrimination is unlawful under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) as well as California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). These laws protect individuals over the age of 40 years from adverse employment actions, harassment, or other types of unfair treatment based solely on their age.


Heath's lawsuit claims that he was approached by a recruiter for Google in early 2011 regarding possible employment based on his experience in Java and C++ programming and called Heath a “great candidate” for employment at Google. Heath was 60 years old at the time. He states that his phone interview was unfair as the interviewer did not speak fluent English, insisted upon using a malfunctioning speaker phone, and would not examine any documentation to back up Heath's answers to some of the very technical questions that were involved in the interview. Google declined to hire Heath and he claims it was due to his age. Heath alleges that Google purposely did not allow him to demonstrate his full programming abilities in the interview because it was clear he was older based on his extensive work history and college graduation date listed on his resume.


Age statistics at Google

Like most things Internet-related, Google is generally associated with a younger, cutting-edge workforce. Data regarding the age of staff members only back up the idea of a young, hip company. The following are some statistics as reported by the United States Department of Labor and Payscale, a salary survey company:


Average age of the American worker


Average age of computer or math occupations


Average age of computer programmers


Average age of software developers


Average age of Google employee



Heath uses these statistics to argue that Google intentionally discriminates against older workers and gives significant preference to younger individuals in its hiring practices.


This is not the first time Google has faced an age discrimination accusation. For example, in the 2010 case of Reid v. Google, a 52-year-old programmer working at Google claimed he was harassed, called names by younger employees, and eventually let go because he did not “culturally fit” in the company, despite positive performance reviews. Reid, however, got a foot in the door of Google while Heath was never even hired. Heath is now seeking anyone else over the age of 40 who was refused employment at Google to join and bring a class action suit against the company for widespread age discrimination.


Google is not the only tech company known for maintaining a younger workforce. In fact, Payscale found several companies with even younger average ages, including AOL, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Salesforce, Inc. We will keep watching to see whether the court finds any merit to Heath's claims against Google. A company representative told the Wall Street Journal that they intended to fight against the claims, which they called “without merit.”


Nate Kelly is an experienced business and employment attorney in California committed to helping businesses successfully handle all types of legal matters and litigation. If you would like to discuss a possible case, call today at 310-228-6215 in Los Angeles or 415-336-3001 in San Francisco today.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *