Federal Investigators Probe Google Over Age-Discrimination Complaints

by Ethan Baron, San Jose Mercury News

google and gavelThe U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has launched an investigation into alleged age discrimination by Google, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.

A court filing from a plaintiff in the suit accuses Google of stonewalling the EEOC investigation, charges the tech giant denies. In an earlier filing of its own, Google acknowledges it was the subject of federal age-discrimination complaints and is under investigation.

Plaintiff Cheryl Fillekes, a systems engineer who interviewed with Google at age 47 but was never hired, referred in a filing last week to a federal probe of the company.

“The EEOC has received multiple complaints of age discrimination by Google, and is currently conducting an extensive investigation into Google’s employment policies and practices,” the document said.

Details of the investigation were not included in the filings. A commission spokeswoman said the agency is barred by law from confirming, denying or discussing investigations. Whether the probe concerns alleged discrimination in hiring, firing or workplace environments has not been made public.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the investigation.

The lawsuit and investigation are taking place against a tech industry backdrop in which older workers are shuffled out to make way for younger — and cheaper — employees, said UC Davis computer science professor Norman Matloff, who studies age discrimination in the sector.

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