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Age discrimination in the tech industry

As many California workers are aware, tech startups and other companies within the technology industry are known for their youthful, hip work culture. While this free-spirited energy can make these types of places fun to work for recent college graduates, it creates a serious age discrimination issue as workers who are 55 years old and above tend to get relegated to jobs that are considered to be "old people" work.

According to a study of 18 large, well-known tech companies, the median employee age was 37 while the U.S. average is 42. However, when the ages of employees from various tech companies were analyzed, the businesses that have been well established for decades had median employee ages that were older than those that are new to tech scene. For example, HP and IBM had median employee ages of 36 to 37 while Amazon, Google and Facebook had median employee ages of 29 to 30.

To try and circumvent accusations of ageism, companies often use certain lingo when looking to hire workers. For example, some businesses use the term "new blood" in recruitment efforts while others employ "digital native," both of which refer to individuals who grew up using computers and tech. However, companies that post job ads using these terms may be violating the Age Discrimination In Employment Act.

When a company encourages a culture that allows for workplace discrimination, employees may not be as productive as they could be, especially if the discrimination prevents them from being promoted or receiving other benefits they may have earned. If an individual has evidence that he or she was overlooked for certain benefits or fired due to his or her age, an employment rights attorney may be able to help him or her file a lawsuit against the employer. In some cases, an employee may be eligible to seek back pay and other benefits he or she earned fairly but did not receive due to discrimination.

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