A lawsuit filed last week by a San Diego man accuses tech giant Hewlett-Packard of widespread age discrimination that cost him his job.
The Scripps Ranch resident, Don Delaney, filed the lawsuit July 5 in San Diego Superior Court. The company, based in Palo Alto, did not respond to a request for comment.
According to the lawsuit, Delaney, 70, was fired in January 2015 from his job as a business consultant at the company’s offices in San Diego as part of a 2012 workforce reduction plan. He had worked for the company for almost 16 years.
Delaney was one of 2,076 employees laid off around in the same time under the plan, the lawsuit says. More than 85 percent of the employees laid off were over the age of 40, a protected class under employment discrimination laws. Delaney believes the discrimination is ongoing.
“This is particularly severe considering the median age of employees working at HP is under age 40,” the lawsuit said.
Delaney’s attorney, Jeffrey Hogue of the San Diego-based law firm Hogue & Belong, said Delaney applied for 25 positions at Hewlett-Packard and is currently looking for other jobs, but it’s an uphill battle.
“It’s going to be hard for an employer to hire a 70-year-old worker,” Hogue said. “I hate to say it, but it’s just not practical for older employees to re-enter the workforce after losing a job.”
Hewlett-Packard announced its layoffs in 2012, to take effect through 2014. The action cut 27,000 jobs, or 8 percent of its workforce. The cuts were expected to save the company $3 billion to $3.5 billion annually.
Delaney’s lawsuit, filed July 5, adds to a growing body of litigation alleging age discrimination at tech companies throughout the country. Google and Facebook both settled age discrimination lawsuits in the past three years.
Various tech companies have been called out by critics and in the media for posting job advertisements specifically recruiting exclusively for “new grads.” The ads didn’t specify age, but critics and employment authorities have said job ads may be illegal discrimination if they contain subtle language discouraging older workers or disproportionately ruling them out of being hired.
2 comments we find telling, taken from comment section of original article published on San Diego Union Tribune:
This doesn’t surprise me. Tech companies want young and gullible employees with no commitments outside of work. And older employees often get laid off only to be replaced with foreign workers on H-1B visas…
Heck yes HP discriminates against older workers. I was laid off there six years ago at the age of 46 after being told by my 30-something manager that “no one over 35 is kickass enough to work on my team.” I reported him to HR, which promised to investigate. Never heard another word. Two months later I was let go.
But it’s the same throughout the tech industry. I now work for another tech company that claims it doesn’t need experienced workers, it needs enthusiastic workers! Which is code for “we want 20-somethings that’ll work cheap.” Yet I’m staying late (again) tonight because one of those enthusiastic workers messed up a huge project that’s due tomorrow, but he left early to go to a networking happy hour. It’s days like this that make life in a cardboard box seem pleasant.