For individuals over the age of 40, the Internet was still in its infancy stages while many were attending college. For twenty-somethings, however, the Internet was an integral part of their childhood and their generation has played a major role in developing new and innovative ways to communicate and succeed in the digital age. It makes sense, therefore, that qualified and educated twenty-somethings are highly sought after by many technology and Internet companies.
The youth-driven culture of the digital age is perhaps most prevalent in the Silicon Valley region of California. This area is home to numerous successful Internet and social media companies like Facebook, Yahoo and Google. The Silicon Valley is also home to Twitter, a company that has found itself the subject of a recent wrongful termination and age discrimination lawsuit filed by a 57-year-old former Twitter employee.
According to the lawsuit, the 57-year-old male employee was fired from his management position with the company suddenly and without notice or explanation. Subsequent to the man’s firing, his former position was filled by younger employees in their 20s and 30s. In his lawsuit, the man cites a negative comment made by one of his supervisors related to his age. In addition to his age, the man believes Twitter management singled him out due to his disability status after undergoing “surgery to remove kidney stones.”
Claims of wrongful termination and age discrimination among older and more experienced employees are common in California’s Silicon Valley region. Some argue that start-up technology companies favor hiring younger employees because they grew up with the Internet and are of the same age as the target demographic. While this may be true, all companies must abide by employment laws and would be wise to recognize that older and more experienced employees have and will continue to stand up for their rights.
Source: San Fransisco Gate, “Twitter faces age discrimination lawsuit,” Wendy Lee, July 15, 2014