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Age Discrimination at Apple Stores? Suit Says Yes

A former Apple Store employee who was turned down for promotion several times has sued Apple for age discrimination. The former employee, who was 60 when he was hired, says that each time a promotion opened up at the store, management chose younger, less qualified employees over him for the job.

According to Information Week, the man was hired to be a Mac Specialist at an Apple Store in Orlando, Florida, in March 2006. From that point, the complaint says, he applied several times to be promoted to Creative, but never got the promotion. Instead, each time store managers selected a worker who was, according to the complaint, less qualified and less experienced – and at least 15 years younger than the man.

The complaint says the man’s supervisors refused to tell him why they never promoted him. In fact, they denied that the employee had even applied.

The man left the Apple Store in September 2007. He filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which in 2009 completed its investigation and released a letter describing its findings. The lawsuit’s complaint alleges that the EEOC, in its letter, found sufficient evidence of age discrimination.

Apple’s attorneys dispute the content of the EEOC letter. In their response to the complaint, they suggest the EEOC actually ruled in Apple’s favor. The writer of the Information Week story, Thomas Claburn, did not have access to a copy of the letter, so he could not report what it says.

Age discrimination is a controversial issue in the tech field. In our next blog post, we will examine another complaint by an older worker against Silicon Valley companies.

Source: Information Week, “Apple Faces Age Discrimination Lawsuit,” Thomas Claburn, December 3, 2010


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