Many companies in California value older, more experienced employees, as they bring strong work ethic, valuable knowledge and skills to the table. Technology companies, however, have tended to embrace younger employees, whether due to corporate culture or because of particular skill sets. Because of this, many of the top technology companies in the U.S. are facing an increasing number of age-related wrongful termination lawsuits.
According to a recent article and information provided by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, leading California technology companies have seen 90 age-discrimination lawsuits since 2012, and the number continues to grow. While most of these are due to alleged wrongful termination, some are focused on unfair promotion or hiring practices. Per a professor at UC Davis, age-related bias is standard practice in Silicon Valley.
There are a variety of factors that have contributed to this issue. For example, many workers either desire to, or are required to, work past the traditional retirement age. Also, a larger number of mergers and acquisitions have required companies to fire more workers, and certain desired skill sets have put a premium on younger workers.
Though the practice of terminating older employees may seem to be common in California, wrongful termination based on age is still an illegal practice. Those who feel they have been a victim of this may want to discuss their situation with an employment law attorney. An attorney will be able to properly evaluate a client's unique situation and provide insight into potential legal options that could be available.
Source: siliconbeat.com, "Older Silicon Valley techies pushed out onto the ice floes to die? Almost 100 lawsuits say yes.", Ethan Baron, Nov. 22, 2016