Tuesday, August 10, 2010

CA Supreme Court’s Google Discrimination Suit Decision Sets Precedent for Stray Comments as Evidence

The long running age-discrimination lawsuit against Internet giant Google gained grounds Thursday when the California Supreme Court sided with the plaintiff on some basic issues.
The lawsuit was filed by Google’s former director of operations and engineering who was 54 when he was terminated.

According to the lawsuit, Reid alleges that he was wrongfully terminated based on his age last 2002 because he was told that he was not a “good fit” with the company.
However his case was in part based on “stray comments “made by colleagues other than his superiors.

In his lawsuit he alleges that co-employees called him “old fuddy daddy” and “obsolete.”

In a previous ruling, the judge allowed Google to object on the inclusion of these stray comments, but The California Supreme Court reversed that ruling saying that these evidence could be relevant circumstantial evidence.

The case is now set to go on trial.

This could be a landmark decision by the CA Supreme court as it opens the gate for more discrimination lawsuits.

The federal “stray comment clause” has been used by employers to block statements by employees and other people who are not involved directly in the discrimination claim.

That is no longer the case as it looks like the courts has now allowed these stray comments to be admissible.

The court has now adopted jurisprudence that is very much more favorable to employees than the employers.