Google is set to part with $11 million, following a lawsuit settlement in which the company was accused on 227 claims of age discrimination in its hiring policy. This legal process began in 2015, and following the settlement (PDF) Google has confirmed that it will actively seek to change its policies on hiring and the training of employees.
As Engadget reports, the legal process began when a Robert Heath was interviewing for a position back in 2015. During the interview process, Heath was told by one of Google’s recruiters that he would be ideal for the position, but ran into problems following a call from one of the company’s engineers.
More specifically the issue arose over the question of bytes, which the interviewer thought meant eight bits, which proved his age bias, according to Heath. This as older computer systems could have bytes between six and 40, and modern systems’ reference to bytes specifically denoting eight.
Heath was able to receive his own personal settlement in December last year, but the class action lawsuit of 227 other people who also believed they were unfairly discriminated against for their age continued.
The new lead plaintiff in the class action lawsuit was Cheryl Fillekes, with Fillekes interviewing four separate times for the same position. During one of the interview applications she was told to send in an updated resume with the dates of her university qualifications, so interviewers could ascertain her age.
Now that a settlement has been reached, it’s estimated that Google will need to pay out $35 000 to each plaintiff, with lawyers receiving $2.75 million of the aforementioned $11 million. Furthermore Fillekes will get an additional $10 000 as the lead plaintiff.
With Google having a long history of dealing with gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment within its organisation, now age discrimination is something it needs to consider as well.