Facebook is known for being one of the best places in the world to work, receiving annual accolades about its perks and benefits. But two new lawsuits are arguing that the social media giant is not an inclusive, great place to work if you’re above a certain age.
According to the New York Post, 61-year-old Stephen Cohen, who lives in Manhattan, says he was approached by Facebook’s vice president of global marketing and director of sales and marketing staff about a job in communications. But when he sent them his resume, which listed his graduation date as 1978, they suddenly told him the position had been filled, according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court.
Not the only Facebook discrimination lawsuit
This is the second age discrimination lawsuit to be filed against Facebook in recent days. According to City News Service, former Facebook employee Gary Glouner, 52, filed a suit in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging that he was fired in 2015 over his age and disability. Glouner claims that Facebook, whose motto was once “move fast and break things,” discriminated against older employees, including himself, for “not moving fast enough.” Glouner said he witnessed several other older employees get fired after being told that they were a “poor cultural fit,” or that they “didn’t get it” or that they “didn’t move fast enough,” according to the suit.
Glouner said he believes that Facebook prefers “digital natives,” or employees who grew up with new technologies and that he and other older workers were considered “culturally awkward within Facebook’s work environment.” After needing to take medical leave for a work injury in 2015, Glouner said he was fired for failing to meet Facebook’s work expectations.
According to reports, both lawsuits reference Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s speech to a tech gathering in 2007 as an examples of Facebook’s ageist culture. Back then, Zuckerberg was a 22-year-old unpolished Facebook CEO. In a Y Combinator speech, he made his generational preferences clear.
“Young people are just smarter,” he said. “I want to stress the importance of being young and technical….Why are most chess masters under 30?…I don’t know…Young people just have simpler lives. We may not own a car. We may not have family.”
Those words may come back to haunt Zuckerberg.