SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (05/22/15) – The median age of Google employees is a remarkable young 29, which is a considerably disproportionate age when compared to all computer programmers in the country, whose median age is 43. As per the Wall Street Journal, one candidate that was rejected for a position at Google has filed a lawsuit against Google regarding age discrimination. The former job candidate seeks to prove that Google’s hiring policy (albeit unspoken) habitually violate Federal statutes on discrimination, specifically discrimination against applicants or employees over age 40. The lawsuit was filed in San Jose’s United States District Court on April 22, 2015, by 64-year old software developer Robert Heath. As of July 21, 2015, at least one other rejected Google applicant has joined the lawsuit, stating she too was discriminated against because of her age, reported ComputerWorld.
Mr. Heath is seeking to prove that Google makes age discrimination part of its employment policies. He claims that because of Google’s “unspoken rule” to hire the young and reject older candidates, he was rejected as an employee in 2011, despite having the right qualifications and despite the fact that a Google recruiter for engineering actually was the one who contacted him first. The recruiter told him that he was an outstanding candidate and urged him to make an application for employment with Google.
Then, suddenly the tables turned, and it appeared that Mr. Heath’s candidacy was actively sabotaged and he was set up to fail.
Mr. Heath was set to undergo what he thought would be a typical technical interview by telephone, which is very common when it comes to hiring software developers and engineers. The interviewer turned out to be a man with a very poor command of the English language speaking to him over a crackling speakerphone. When Mr. Heath asked him to turn off speakerphone and use the handset, he refused. Naturally, the man giving the technical interview and Mr. Heath had trouble communicating with each other. As part of a technical interview, the candidate has to write program code that would perform a task, which serves to back up what candidates say they know. The usual practice is for the candidate to e-mail the code to the interviewer during the interview so they can discuss it. The Google interviewer did not want a copy of the code, and instead insisted Mr. Heath read his code aloud, which the interviewer had trouble following due to his language deficiencies. As a result, the interviewer did not recommend hiring Mr. Heath and he lost his chance at the position.
Google made a statement regarding the lawsuit that claimed it has no merit and they plan to fight it.