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Google To Stand Trial--California Age-Discrimination Lawsuit Moves Forward

August 5, 2010

In recent California employment news that our attorneys at Howard Law, PC have been following, Google Inc. will be heading to court, after the California Supreme Court ruled today that an age-discrimination lawsuit filed by a former employee should go to trial.

According to the lawsuit, Brian Reid, a senior executive at Google, from 2002-2004 was hired because of his high-tech expertise, with a high-profile resume including leading a team that helped with the development of the first Internet firewall software. Reid filed a lawsuit in 2004, claiming that Google violated his employment rights based on the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, by criticizing him based on his age, 54, and telling him upon his termination that he wasn't a good "cultural fit" for the youth-oriented company.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in 2005, the state of California ruled in Google's favor, stating that age-discrimination did not look to be the main factor in termination. Reid appealed, and in 2007, an appeals court did not agree with the previous ruling, stating that there was undisputed evidence that Reid was discriminated against based on his age, and fired as a legitimate result.

The court ruled unanimously that Reid presented enough discriminatory evidence to allow a jury to decide whether his employment was terminated on the basis of age. Among Reid's age-discrimination evidence included derogatory comments from executives who allegedly called him an "old man," and criticized him for having ideas that were "too old to matter." Reid's boss also allegedly sent emails of a discriminatory nature about him to Google's co-founder, Sergey Brin.

Google reportedly argued that Reid was terminated due to poor job performance and job elimination, as the company reportedly eliminated a graduate degree program within the company that Reid was instructed to run, after being demoted from his role as director of operations. His replacement was a younger executive.

In cities throughout Orange County, California and Southern California, contact Howard Law, PC today.

Google Loses Discrimination Ruling, The Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2010

Google Must Stand Trial in Discrimination Suit, The San Francisco Chronicle, August 5, 2010

Related Web Resources:

California Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC)