Monday, May 31, 2010
Known for being young, hip and cutting-edge, search engine giant Google is a dream company to join if you’re looking for a career in new media. The No. 1 website in the world, careers at Google are highly sought after by fresh-faced college grads and seasoned pros alike. Sixty-year-old Brian Reid, however, claims that Google may be a little too youth-obsessed.
Last Wednesday, Reid testified in a California Supreme Court in San Francisco that he was fired from the company at the age of 54 after he was told that he wasn’t a cultural fit for Google’s youthful image. Reid’s lawsuit claims that the man was the victim of illegal age discrimination. A former assistant professor at Stanford University, Reid was hired at the then start-up company as the director of engineering and operations. He was 52 when he took the job, but later was transferred to what his lawyers describe as a dead end job. Stripped of his title, Reid then was put in charge of a fledgling program for grad students working at Google. Soon after his transfer to the program, Reid was fired and told his position had been eliminated.
Last week’s proceeding in front of judges was to determine if the case will in fact go to trial, not whether Reid was the victim of illegal age discrimination. The court is mulling over discriminatory remarks made by Reid’s co-workers, who called him “over the hill” and an “old fuddy-duddy.” Lawyers for the company argued that the remarks hold no water since they weren’t made by superiors. Google is appealing a decision by an appeals court that ruled Reid was entitled to a Santa Clara County Superior Court trial. Furthermore, Google has been vocal to point out the company’s spotless history for hiring people of all ages, races and disabilities.