Google ordered to dispute age discrimination allegation at tribunal

Internet giant Google has been ordered to defend itself in the Supreme Court of California over an allegation of age discrimination lodged by a disgruntled former employee.

Google attempted to have the case dismissed citing the ‘stray remarks’ clause – relating to comments made by those not responsible for the employee’s dismissal – but the court has forced the company to defend.

The lawsuit was filed by ex-employee Brian Reid back in 2004, who alleged that senior Google executives forced him to leave his position due to his age. Reid believes that his age meant he didn’t match with the company’s ‘culture’, especially as he was made to leave the company just before it went public.

Reid also made mention of numerous derogatory comments made by Google’s senior vice president for operations, Urs Holzle, and it was these that Google included in the attempt to use the ‘stray remarks’ clause. However, the court stated:

“Strict application of the stray remarks doctrine, as urged by Google, would result in a court’s categorical exclusion of evidence even if the evidence was relevant.”

Google is constantly beleaguered by lawsuits and legal disputes, mainly due to the expansive and profitable nature of its operations. With so many legal issues to counter, the corporation is likely to have a team of lawyers and a professional indemnity limit of millions.

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