[FoRK] Google age-discrimination suit

Rohit Khare (RR) <rifroad at gmail.com> on Sat Oct 6 13:24:40 PDT 2007

Hey, it's rare that I'd cross-post from IP, but this is too
fascinating... Hope they don't settle-n-seal; I'd like to learn more,
and think the public interest would be served by more debate here
(c.f. Zuckerberg's under-30 or paul g's 'no-parents' rules)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Farber <dfarber at cs.cmu.edu>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2007 17:33:51 -0400
Subject: [IP] 'Old guy' gets another chance in Google age-discrimination suit
To: ip at v2.listbox.com

Gosh, Brian was a student when I met him. Old indeed. Maybe what
bothered Google is that he knew what had been tried in the past and
why it worked or failed. Makes it hard to re-invent, djf

Begin forwarded message:

From: Ari Ollikainen <Ari at OLTECO.com>
Date: October 5, 2007 2:49:24 PM EDT
To: dave at farber.net
Subject: 'Old guy' gets another chance in Google age-discrimination suit

	For IP...

'Old guy' gets another chance in Google age-discrimination suit

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Friday, October 5, 2007

(10-04) 19:28 PDT San Jose -- A state appeals court reinstated a
fired manager's age-discrimination suit against Google Inc. on
Thursday, saying a jury should hear his evidence that a supervisor
told him that his ideas were "too old to matter" and that the giant
search engine company gave its older employees lower ratings and
lesser bonuses.

The Sixth District Court of Appeal in San Jose overturned a Santa
Clara County judge's dismissal of a damage suit by Brian Reid, who
was hired by the Mountain View firm in 2002 as director of operations
and director of engineering. He was demoted in October 2003 and fired
in February 2004, at age 54.

According to published reports, the firing cost Reid not only his
salary of $200,000 a year but also stock options worth as much as $10

Reid, a former electrical engineering professor at Stanford, was
given a glowing review by Google's vice president of engineering in
his only written evaluation. But the same executive, Wayne Rosing,
told Reid when he was fired that he was not a "cultural fit" for the
company, the court said.

Rosing was three years older than Reid. But another of his
supervisors, Urs Hoelzle, who was 15 years younger than Reid, told
him that his opinions and ideas were obsolete and "too old to
matter," and that he was sluggish and lethargic, the court said. Some
colleagues referred to him as an "old guy" and "fuddy-duddy."

Hoelzle and a younger employee took over Reid's responsibilities when
he was demoted in October 2003 to become head of a new company
program with no budget or staff, the court said. Company co-founder
Larry Page made the decision to fire Reid, his suit said. Page was
nearly 31 at the time.

As part of the lawsuit, Reid presented a statistician's study of
employees and managers in his department at Google that found older
employees consistently received lower evaluations than their younger
colleagues, and older managers got bonuses that were 29 percent less
than those awarded to managers who were 10 years younger.

The court said those arguments, cited by Superior Court Judge William
Elfving in his dismissal of the suit, involved factual disputes that
must be resolved by a jury.

E-mail Bob Egelko at begelko at sfchronicle.com.


	The comments on this story are instructive:


                                      - - -
	"The young have aspirations that never come to pass, the old
	  have reminiscences of what never happened." -- H.H. Munro

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