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In a troubled economy, older tech workers are considered expendable

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2021 | Harassment & discrimination

Silicon Valley is synonymous with technology and the computer industry. Many big-name companies like Apple, IBM and Intel were born in Silicon Valley. The success of these companies came about due to the efforts of many skilled young workers.

These workers are older now, and many are losing their jobs to age discrimination despite their vital roles in helping corporations succeed. Making this problem even worse, companies are disguising their discriminatory acts as “cost-cutting” measures.

How do they get away with age discrimination?

When the economy is in trouble, corporations also face problems. Consumers do not have the money to buy the products these corporations produce, resulting in profit loss. Companies must often cut costs to find a new balance. Downsizing an employee pool can help employers cut costs, but older employees are usually the first to go.

Skilled young workers are eager to get their feet in the door of tech companies and will usually accept less income than older workers. To a big corporation looking to cut costs, it may make sense to cull out older employees and usher in young workers. However, it remains illegal to fire or discriminate against a person solely because of their age.

Some of the ways companies try to move out older workers include:

  • Juniorization: Downgrading a worker’s position so that they are overqualified for the job.
  • Relocation: Often, companies move some (or all) of their operations to a lower-cost location but do not invite older workers to relocate.
  • Reorganization: Employers use this technique to get rid of middle management positions, usually held by older employees.

Unfortunately, the techniques above represent just the tip of the iceberg in a rising wave of age discrimination across California and other regions. If you suspect your recent termination occurred due to your age, please consider learning more about age discrimination and wrongful termination.