Aug. 15, 2019, Oakland, CA — Judge Freeman approved today the settlement of a collective action age discrimination lawsuit brought by Kotchen & Low LLP on behalf of 227 plaintiffs who asserted that Google discriminated against them when it rejected their applications for Site Reliability Engineer, Software Engineer, or Systems Engineer positions at Google in violation of the ADEA.
Under the terms of the agreement, Google will pay $11 million, or a average of $48,458 per plaintiff. Google has also agreed to programmatic relief in the form of: training employees and managers on age-based bias; the creation of a subcommittee within recruiting that will focus on age diversity in the three relevant positions; ensuring that Google’s marketing collateral reflects age diversity; ensuring that any age bias complaints for the relevant positions are adequately investigated; and conducting surveys of departing employees about potential discrimination.
The Court also approved a $10,000 incentive award for lead plaintiff Cheryl Fillekes in recognition of the services she performed on behalf of the class.
Plaintiffs alleged that younger workers were hired at substantially higher rates than similarly qualified workers over 40, that the interview process was structurally designed to favor younger workers, and that some older applicants were told that they were not a good “cultural fit” or were not “Googley” enough, which plaintiffs alleged was a euphemism for age.