Too Old for Google?

Valleywag actually brings up an interesting point here. Does Google promote age discrimination with its “Work Hard, Play Hard” tag line?

I must admit that I’ve been incredibly annoyed at Valleywag lately due to personal reasons, but I give them due credit for attempting to connect the the dots from a recruiting strategy to a current lawsuit, a case in which Google is being sued for age discrimination.

Per Valleywag:

One of the most significant employment law cases of 2007 was Reid v. Google, Inc., in which the search giant was charged with age discrimination for terminating PhD. computer scientist Brian Reid at the age of 54. Prior to his firing, Reid was reportedly subjected to a plethora of age-related disparagement, made the butt of jokes, and found himself a fish out of water in a “youthful atmosphere” featuring employee participation in hockey, football and skiing. Reid testified that upon being fired, he was told he was not a “cultural fit.”

The case is heading to the California Supreme Court and we’ll see what they have to say.

I honestly do not believe that Google intended to put a discriminatory recruiting strategy into place in any way, shape or form, nor do I believe that Valleywag’s interpretation is necessarily correct. However, because this now has been interpreted as such, Google may want to lay low on the “Work Hard, Play Hard” thing while the case is still active.

Just a thought.

4 Replies to “Too Old for Google?”

  1. I have to say that I completely disagree that the “work hard, play hard” phrase could in any way relate to age.

    That’s actually the same advice my dad gave me every time I left to head back to college. He knew I was a very focused, serious student and sometimes needed to be reminded to have fun.

    The message is work/life balance- pure and simple. Google is about doing everything 120%. What could that possible have to do with age?

    The best teams I have been on live the motto “work hard/play hard.” We were all workaholics, and all socialized together. There was an internal work/life balance that was promoted through working hard and playing hard together.

  2. I agree with you both. As I stated in the post, I don’t think that it’s discriminatory either. What I was saying is that if people can make this association (particularly since Valleywag did), the connotation is now out there and can be used against them.

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