Internet search company Google is facing an age discrimination lawsuit in California after a 54-year old former director of operations claimed he was sacked because he was not compatible with Google's culture of "youth and energy".
Brian Reid, who was 52 when he was hired, was diagnosed with diabetes shortly after and claims he was subjected to discriminatory treatment, including complaints that he was "lethargic" and "lacked energy".
The complaint alleges that Google operates "an unfair and illegal practice" to "screen out, refuse to hire, scrutinise more strictly, review more harshly, terminate and/or otherwise discriminate against workers age 40 or older".
The average age of male employees at Google is 29.7 years and the average age of female employees is 28.4, according to the complaint. Only 30, or less than two per cent, of Google's 1,900 employees are over 40.
Reid claimed that although Google told him his position was eliminated, he was replaced by a much younger worker hired from outside of Google.
Google said that Reid's claim was "without merit", and that it plans to "defend itself vigorously" against the charges.