Brian Reid is revered in the tech industry
for helping to craft the first firewall
, the AltaVista search engine
, and the the alt.* hierarchy of newsgroups in Usenet
But he is 60 years old -- twice the age when they killed people on Logan's Run
. Six years ago, he filed an age discrimination suit against Google -- where, he claims, he was commonly referred to as "old man," "old fuddy-duddy," and told he was not a "cultural fit" for the company. He was dismissed in February of 2004 -- just before the company went public and he stood to make a pile. He may still make a pile, however, as the State Supreme Court yesterday unanimously ruled Reid has presented enough evidence
to warrant a jury trial.
Reid's suit was initially tossed by a Santa Clara County judge, who ruled that Google simply eliminated Reid's job -- and didn't discriminate against him. But an appeals court -- and now the state Supreme Court -- disagreed.
The nuance from yesterday's ruling was that it gave weight to "stray remarks" of Reid's co-workers. Those remarks included a plethora of ageist language, according to the 60-year-old: "obsolete," "too old to matter," "slow," "fuzzy," "sluggish," "lethargic."
You can read the state Supreme Court's ruling here: Reid supreme court ruling.DOC
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