The legal challenge against Google dates back to a case filed by Robert Heath in 2015. According to Heath's account of his experiences with Google, he was interviewed for a position that he was told by a recruiter he would be a "great candidate" for, only to run into issues during a phone conversation with a Google engineer. During the conversation, the interviewer assumed the word "byte" meant eight bits which, according to Heath, revealed age bias. While modern computer systems use eight-bit byes, older ones could have bytes between six to 40 bits.
While Heath settled his claim with Google in December, a class-action lawsuit against the company continued with a new lead plaintiff, Cheryl Fillekes. According to Fillekes, she interviewed for a job with Google on four separate occasions but was never offered a position. During one interview, she claims she was told to submit a new resume with the dates of her college graduation so interviewers could see how old she was.
Assuming the settlement goes forward, $2.75 million of the $11 million payout will end up in the coffers of the lawyers representing the class. About $35,000 will go to each plaintiff involved in the suit, with an additional $10,000 going to Fillekes as the lead plaintiff. Google isn't the first tech firm to face age discrimination complaints. Intel, Oracle and Facebook have all been accused of similar behavior.