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Google settles class action lawsuit

Google has agreed to pay $11 million to 227 plaintiffs who claimed that the company engaged in age discrimination. A settlement notice was filed in a California court. In addition to the financial component of the agreement, Google will provide training to employees and managers regarding age bias and discrimination. Furthermore, a committee will be formed to ensure that the company engages in age diversity and investigates complaints about age bias.

The ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act) was put into law in 1967 and protects workers 40 years of age or older in various ways. For instance, employers cannot base a decision to hire or promote a person covered by the law on age alone. The law also applies to decisions related to paying an employee or providing an individual with opportunities to learn new skills. Despite the presence of ADEA, many acknowledge that age discrimination is rampant in the business world.

It is important to note that age bias can take place even if a company doesn't intend for it to occur. Businesses could be engaging in unintentional discrimination by holding recruiting events at colleges or writing applications geared toward attracting younger workers. In the case that Google just settled, it claims that it never intended to act in a discriminatory manner toward older applicants.

If a worker is treated differently due to his or her age, it could constitute discrimination in the workplace. Victims of age discrimination may be entitled to compensation from their employers either through a settlement or a lawsuit. People could also choose to resolve the matter through private talks with their employers. An attorney may attend a meeting and take notes of what was said and how the matter was resolved. This information may be used as evidence in future legal proceedings.

Source: HR Dive, "Google to pay $11M to settle age discrimination class action," Jennifer Carsen, July 29, 2019

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