Age Discrimination in the Technology Sector

Cartwright - October 8, 2013 - Blog, Workplace Discrimination

The awareness of age discrimination in the technology sector is generally on the rise. Sometimes it can be hard to initially detect. Some firms claim they are focused on hiring people with the latest skills as a way to deflect concerns of older workers, who are often the first to be laid off in such firms. But that does not help explain the dearth of workers over 40 years of age in this sector of the workforce. According to Investors.com, “The median age of Facebook employees is 28, according to job information site Payscale.com. At Google, it’s 29, and at Apple, 32.” The Cartwright Law Firm has seen a notable rise in the number of complaints arising among tech workers, and to a lesser extent, among biotech workers.

There are of course cases where age discrimination is more clear-cut, and that have led to substantial awards. In August, a Texas appellate court upheld a $900,000 age discrimination verdict against Dell Corporation, involving a 61-year-old former sales representative. But these cases are in the minority. There are so many different ways firms can disguise their practices that proving such discrimination remains difficult if not impossible to establish. Yet so many people have been affected by this phenomenon that it cannot be avoided as a factor in the newly and even some long-term unemployed having great difficulty finding work in the fields they trained for, and worked in, sometimes for decades.

Federal law prohibits age discrimination against those 40 or older. In some states, similar laws apply to younger workers. The Cartwright Law Firm takes such cases very seriously. We suggest to those who feel they are facing such discrimination to adopt the following to-do list:

1. Keep copies of communications that even imply that you are getting “out of date,” “too slow”, that some newly-hired worker is “eating your lunch,” and other more subtle indicators that you are being edged out of your job.

2. Be ready to demonstrate how you have stayed up on the latest technology changes relevant to your field.

3. Be able to show any awards, positive reviews, and other documentation to show that there are not other issues that may be contributing to your “obsolescence.”

4. Keep in contact with fellow workers who have shown they are aware of how you are being treated, or who may be experiencing the same discrimination, whether in hiring, or in the loss of their own jobs.

The burden of proof lies more on your shoulders these days, so it is important that you be able to document age discrimination effectively if you are to have a successful outcome to your case. And call the Employment Law attorneys at The Cartwright Law Firm for a free consultation, before you find yourself on the outside, and wonder what just happened to you!

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