Exactly 269 people are now part of a class-action lawsuit against Google over age discrimination which was initiated by one Robert Heath in 2015. The plaintiffs who later joined the filing claim that the Alphabet-owned company discriminated against them based on their age as it was supposedly looking to hire younger employees, even at the expense of opting for someone with similar qualifications and less experience for certain positions. The case is largely based on the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 which protects both applicants and employees over 40 from discrimination based on their age in the context of hirings, firings, promotions, and general employment conditions. The plaintiffs claim that the Mountain View, California-based tech giant violated that federal act when considering their applications, a notion that Google firmly denies.
Google's recruiters reportedly told some of the plaintiffs to disclose their graduation years on their job applications so that they were able to determine their approximate age and later use it to discriminate against them, according to the lawsuit. In late 2016, a competent district court judge allowed more plaintiffs to join the lawsuit, consequently classifying it as a class-action one. A Google representative recently said that the company has "strong policies" designed to stop discrimination on any basis that's punishable by the law, noting how it's adamant to continue defending itself in the case. It's currently unclear whether more plaintiffs will join the lawsuit in the coming months and Google's comments on the matter imply that the Internet giant has no intent on settling out of court.
The latest development comes amidst the company's legal battle with the U.S. Department of Labor which accused it of systematically underpaying women earlier this year and forced it into yielding more of its salary data than Google was originally required to disclose as a federal contractor. At the same time, approximately 60 women are exploring the possibility of suing Alphabet's subsidiary over similar gender pay gap allegations, with both cases being strengthened by a recent controversial memo criticizing the firm's diversity practices that got its author — who's also considering suing Google — fired, but not before sparking an outrage within the tech giant and gaining some support among Googlers.