Ageism and layoffs

PayPal IIMm4f
Mar 14 300 Comments

Paypal had layoffs recently and I heard that most people were in their 40s. Is this a common tread at other companies? Doesn't this constitute as discrimination? I understand that older employees usually get paid more but still somehow I don't think this is right especially if they have invested most of their career at the place. Are there any ways to combat ageism during layoffs? Thoughts? I mean we are all going to get old some day whether we like it or not...

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TOP 300 Comments
  • Facebook Probe
    Why do you think I use skin care products and adhere to a strict diet? Solely to make sure I look like I'm in my 30s into my 50s to combat ageism.
    Mar 1414
    • Barclays PLC FAANGHNTER
      Exfoliate and join a CSR group. We will make it.
      Mar 14
    • SAP kimsoo
      They let you go not because you look old. Because your TC is high instead.
      Mar 14
    • Salesforce hahhahaha
      Retin-a
      Mar 14
    • New qGcU18
      Big corps cannibalizing their older work force is discriminatory and illegal. We must stop this sh*t.
      Mar 14
    • Juniper wolfe0525
      I had a facelift to look 10 years younger because of ageism. It works. Keep your skills up to date and keep your appearance looking as young as you can.
      Mar 14
    • Walmart.com s2a7
      @nonesense why moisturize with SPF ? Isn't that supposed to be used as sunscreen only ?
      Mar 15
    • VMware BobbleHat
      Sun is the cause of age changes in your skin. If you never saw sunlight, you will have baby smooth skin almost forever.
      Mar 15
    • Amazon uOvb33
      I’m sorry but this superficiality is not what nails you. You will be routinely identified by life experience and stage- like not doing shots with your coworkers.
      Mar 15
    • 3D Systems Hemingway
      Ageism is an open secret. There’s nothing you can do about it except keep networking even if you have a job. Don’t take employment for granted. This is reality.
      Mar 15
    • New kr580
      ”employment at will” anyone?
      Mar 18
  • LinkedIn Capt Marv
    Why do people whine about getting socialist protections for jobs that pay few times the median income ?
    Mar 1410
    • Amazon LoanerBadg
      The ignorance here is mind-boggling.
      Mar 14
    • Amazon sinter
      Mind boggling is putting it lightly. How does homeboy even manage to dress himself in the morning?
      Mar 14
    • Amazon frmnt
      So if it's ok to discriminate after certain age, wouldn't that make those people unemployable thus kicking them out of high paying category thus giving them socialist protections as per you?
      Mar 14
    • Amazon lolwhat
      Why do people whine about people who whine?
      Mar 14
    • LinkedIn Capt Marv
      The very fact that somebody is paid few times the median income is that they have special/in-demand skills.

      If those skills are no longer in-demand then why does that person need socialistic protection for that role with a high pay ?

      If indeed those skills are in demand then it should not be difficult to get a job with high pay anyways.

      I am for ageist, socialistic protection for jobs that pay around the median income.

      Saying hey give me protection to keep earning few times the median income is on the lines (not equal though) of billionaires asking for tax cuts to remain billionaires
      Mar 14
    • Snapchat camera-co
      Because the time to negotiate for unions/professional associations is now, when we're in a powerful position. Look at how lawyer pay has stagnated/declined over the last few decades whereas doctor pay remains high.

      Restricting the qualifications necessary to become a software engineer is good for every existing software engineer.
      Mar 14
    • The New York Times JoJos
      Capt Marv probably works in HR or management.
      Mar 14
    • Dell Smartyguy
      As long as we have *unlimited* h1b supplies all 40+ folks will keep getting laidoff ....
      Mar 14
    • Adobe Bro1
      Just keep screwing up other countries so they won't stop supplying h1b supplies.
      Mar 14
    • Pinterest PVQy30
      ^ it’s the Canadian solution. let in as many old, underpaid immigrants as easily as possible
      Mar 20
  • Older employees are NOT usually paid more. Younger ones who job hop make more than old timers who are stuck in the same job.
    Mar 146
    • Marvell k8h5vh
      Because they hop around and get bumps w every move or they put themselves in multiple offer situations.
      Mar 14
    • Yelp overmind
      Job hoppers don't age?
      Mar 14
    • New tooQ10
      Concurring. My age will pass my TC in a few years, something that hasn't been the case since I was a college senior.
      Mar 14
    • Intuit 6grrbnyr5
      so you're earning like $35k a year or what am I missing here?
      Mar 14
    • Magic Leap b8nk5y
      Regarding Ageism, how does one build a case or prove it’s happening?
      Mar 14
    • New tooQ10
      @6grrbnyr5, I'm older. Age 42, TC ~45. I'm not a superstar, just an ordinary employee.
      Mar 14
  • Amazon Koh Samui
    Better achieve financial independence before you’re 40. Brain gets slower with age. That said I still think age-based firing is a terrible practice.
    Mar 1412
    • AdRoll ipopwc
      This is terrifying to read heading into my 30s. Life happens fast and savings get drained by all sorts of random stuff. Even with decent SWE pay, retiring seems impossible.
      Mar 14
    • New TC++
      What a BS. Many professions like doctors only start their career at 30. Would you want to be operated on by a 25 yo surgeon? Academics usually do their most important work well into 50s.
      Mar 14
    • Microsoft YKtY52
      If you're under 40 then I assume you're trolling. If you're over 40 then perhaps YOUR brain slowed down. Don't assume everyone else's did.

      Many elite athletes experience slower reflexes, less stamina, etc, starting in their 30s. But the rest of us do just fine.

      If you don't believe me then pick up any popular science book and check the author's age. Most scientists don't even finish school until their upper 20s / lower 30s, and they often do their best work later in life.
      Mar 14
    • LinkedIn Rr333
      I'm also not talking about other professions. Tech will spit you out in your 40s unless you keep rising the ranks, or are a truly elite coder. I can't tell you how many times I heard the phrase "for 15 years of experience I expected better." for random algorithm problems that the candidate didn't get immediately perfect. Then pass on the candidate.
      Mar 14
    • Adobe xbid57
      ^ this
      Mar 14
    • New TC++
      @Rr333 you are proving my point — older candidates have problems getting hired because of stupid interview process and outright agism, not because their brains are slower. Also, CS fundamentals haven't changed that much. Binary trees are same binary trees as 50 years ago. It's just that most programming jobs don't require any hard CS, so you forget stuff you learned in college.
      Mar 14
    • Adobe xbid57
      Whatever the cause, what matters is the end effect on those heading towards or already over 40. Huge cause of concern either way.
      Mar 14
    • Amazon Jеff Bezоs
      > Software is more along the novel spectrum.

      😂
      What looks novel to a 20-year-old is usually technology that was already invented in the 70s under a slightly different context. Ageism makes you think you work in a novel field.
      Mar 14
    • Amazon SeCg34
      I was hired by Amazon at 50, still there and approaching late 50’s. I can assure you that my brain is actually faster now since it’s been challenged daily at work. However, I agree that the best approach is to save as much as you can and assume that you’ll run into issues by 55 if not earlier. Very few of the FANGs have many people my age. Amazon seems to be significantly better about it than most.
      Mar 19
    • New TC++
      Yeah, I had interview with Amazon recently. The bar raiser was at least 50. Very sharp guy. I liked him but he rejected me😐
      Mar 19
  • Google iambackag
    Sounds like BS to me. I am in my late 50s and my boss (and his boss) are older. That said, I would try a lawsuit if it happened to me
    Mar 1412
    • This does not affect me so it doesn't exist.
      Mar 14
    • Google DWaU03
      If you are in your late 50, do the needful and resign from the same
      Mar 14
    • Google iambackag
      As soon as I make enough money. In the meantime, I do the needful with your mom
      Mar 14
    • Expedia dogzilla
      Lol DWaU03
      Mar 14
    • Akamai Technologies VmQQ44
      “Do the needful”? 🤣 I guess we know DWaU03’s background. The next thing he’ll say is “revert back”.
      Mar 15
    • Google iambackag
      He was trolling with that. His mom told me so while we were preponing the needful
      Mar 15
    • Primer AI gEMD88
      Id love to refactor his mom
      Mar 15
    • Google iambackag
      Better to revert her back
      Mar 15
    • Google DWaU03
      Want me to revert back on the same ?
      Mar 15
    • Google iambackag
      Dude reverting back your mom is too much. I may be old fashioned though
      Mar 15
  • Juniper bailee
    Ageism is rampant in the Bay Area. Yes it's discrimination yes everyone knows about yes it still happens anyway and companies DGAF
    Mar 148
    • Amazon sinter
      I’m surprised employment law attorneys aren’t working the area aggressively for cases tbh
      Mar 14
    • Google JLrC80
      Tech industry is up or out. If you are old and not in a leadership position you are probably an overpaid average engineer.
      Mar 14
    • Amazon sinter
      Okay, but that doesn’t invalidate the law.
      Mar 14
    • Google dheye726
      Too hard to prove.
      Mar 14
    • T-Mobile SFVc60
      Lol

      Tech industry is up or out. If you are old and not in a leadership position you are probably an overpaid average engineer.

      Ok child!
      Mar 14
    • New EMVH32
      @JlrC80 - you just illustrated why Google is being successfully sued by about 260 people for age discrimination.

      And you’re wrong. The lack of experience Android OS engineers have is destroying that product. It’s days are numbered simply because of ageism.
      Mar 14
    • Chevron newtoSF
      Lack of experience is destroying many companies! But how come many CEOs are over 50 and this crap is happening under their nose.
      I think it’s more that people are complacent here and no one wants to rock the boat. Look at SF as a city, pretty soon people would have to wear masks not because of smoke because of disgusting smell of piss. Totally Gross!
      Mar 17
    • Walmart.com vLAp07
      This hit me when I entered my 40s. Stay fit, try looking "younger", network and most important have a skill that the industry wants. This can help extend your career; or at least that is my hope. Companies favor youth (which is good for our kids -- see it does help somewhere), but the openness with which it is done shocks me. I do not expect anything to change so keep your skills up-to date and network.
      Apr 17
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Intuit j123x
      Fannie Mae name itself sounds like old.
      Mar 14
    • Veritas Anyone1
      You shouldn’t feel pity but maybe common human decency?

      Many of us are great mentors, people managers, and technical folks. I don’t judge younger workers by their age but by their abilities. It would be nice to see the same behavior across the board - regardless of age.
      Mar 14
    • General Motors sBto05
      Oh man, in 20 years I hope you revisit this comment and feel the irony.

      Also, those greybeards have forgotten more than you learned in school.
      Mar 14
    • Sage khCi60
      What a fucking loser response from Fannie Mae - narcissism runs rampant among millenials
      Mar 14
    • AdRoll ipopwc
      I’m a millennial and find it disgusting. We will be there in a blink of an eye. I will not work for companies that have a sea of fresh faces; only diverse mixes.

      I hope my fellow millennials have some sense of decency and feel the same (and just self-regard; like I say: we will be there shortly)
      Mar 14
    • Sage khCi60
      Ages are part of diversity. So are people who vote differently than you do.
      Mar 14
    • AdRoll ipopwc
      Agree 100%; I mean a sea of *only* fresh faces.
      Mar 14
  • Microsoft madlad420
    Go to microsoft everyone's old here
    Mar 140
  • New EMVH32
    It is common. And it is illegal. And it is a dumb way to manage a company.
    Mar 140
  • Oracle now@google
    I suppose it is a mix of people with more YOE/high TC and those who stuck around because they can’t get a job elsewhere.
    Mar 140
  • Lyft zz7yqa45
    Ageism is real. Allow me to explain the hierarchy of hatred for The Olds in tech (anyone over 40).

    1. Olds who can pass for young and can pretend they are drinking the koolaid, also ignore unforced errors by people half their age (won't protect in mass layoffs).

    2. Olds who have interests and obligations outside of work. This category is especially hated in growth companies.

    3. Olds who have the misfortune to have a sick kid or parent. This is the absolute lowest of the low, the most hated category of The Olds. If you are in this category, watch your back, learn about FMLA, and be ready to get fired at any time for any reason or no reason at all.

    Ahhhhhh! The magic of at will employment.

    Actually I misspoke. Olds with cancer are the worst. Just drop dead already and stop driving insurance rates up.
    Mar 143
    • Microsoft HGAI88
      This is depressing
      Mar 14
    • Red Hat bdifkfofn
      I hope your health remains as is when/if you reach “the Olds” age
      Mar 15
    • Chevron newtoSF
      It’s another form of enslavement when having interests and obligations outside of work is frowned upon.
      Olds and Young’s get cancer and both drive insurance rates up!
      Mar 17
  • Cisco CyberDemon
    Plan to retire by 40. Problem solved.
    Mar 1413
    • Cisco CyberDemon
      know yourself. if you're layoff material, refrain from marriage and kids. play it safe.
      Mar 14
    • New TC++
      The discussion here is that anyone over 40 is a layoff material.
      Mar 14
    • Cisco CyberDemon
      then everyone play it safe, duh. that's what Caucasians are doing anyway. 😂 Asians need to follow suit.
      Mar 14
    • Nutanix hmbsjc1
      @cisco Giving up on family so you can have a secure financial future is a terrible way of looking at life.
      A good spouse is a great asset. You just need to find him or her :)
      Mar 15
    • Qualcomm asicdesign
      Dream on Cyberdemon
      Mar 15
    • Cisco CyberDemon
      don't you think a good spouse deserves a good spouse.. someone who isn't layoff material? if you can't be a good provider, don't go ruining others lives.
      Mar 19
    • New TC++
      Lol CyberDemon is obviously single and virgin
      Mar 19
    • Cisco CyberDemon
      attack my argument, not me you birdbrain.
      Mar 19
    • New TC++
      Don't get butthurt CyberDemon. Bad for your health.
      Mar 19
    • Nutanix hmbsjc1
      @cisco A good spouse provides support when you need it. The bad ones will leave you at the first sign of trouble. A good spouse may also be able to tell you areas in which you can improve. In a nice way of course :)
      Mar 19
  • Optum djt1658
    As one of the older folks on Blind (64.. lol) I have one suggestion: don't talk a lot about what happened in the old days. Stay current. Anything that you did more than 10, 15 yrs ago is probably not super relevant anymore. It won't protect you from all ageist layoffs but it'll help. Anyway it's more interesting too 😁😁
    Mar 145
    • New gpelxl2
      do you recommend getting into a leadership role?
      Mar 14
    • Optum djt1658
      Really interesting question. Around 15 years ago I was an Oracle DBA on Unix and thought I would never want to go into mgmt. But time passed, I joined a different company, technology changed & I became a manager. All around I really like it. I have a great team and, though I don't go deep into any technical topics now, I do get to range pretty widely in helping team members deal with blockers etc. However, my ability to find a different job is probably less than it would be if I stayed pure technical. I'd say if you have any interest in mgmt and find an oppty, don't be afraid to go for it. You can probably do it for 3+ years before your ability to go back to individual contributor gets tough.
      Mar 14
    • New TC++
      When do you plan to retire?
      Mar 14
    • New gpelxl2
      Thank you for detailed answer. I am still early in my career, and was thinking of moving to mgmt once I become senior or staff engineer..
      Mar 14
    • Nutanix hmbsjc1
      ^This.
      In my experience, if you keep your skills current and keep a positive attitude you’re golden through your golden years. (See what I did there?)
      Mar 15
  • Amazon qQTo52
    The impacted folks tend to have to sign away rights to sue to get severance which shuts down lawsuits. People also don’t want to sue because it will be public and fear future hiring discrimination based on causing trouble. In the end we’re all akin to pro ball players: make as much as you can while you can and have a plan B should this hit us.
    Mar 145
    • Amazon пысTaker
      You can't sign away the right to sue over discrimination. Also crimes cannot be protected by an NDA
      Mar 14
    • Amazon пысTaker
      You can settle discrimination out of court but you'd need a judge to approve it.
      Mar 14
    • Microsoft YKtY52
      You can sign away your right to sue. Chances are you've done it many times without even realizing. Go read your cell phone contract. It probably says that by signing it you're agreeing to have disputes solved through arbitration.

      Many employers do it too (I'm not sure about Amazon; Microsoft does not).

      It's pretty standard for severance packages to require that you give up your right to sue. There are special rules for people over 40, but at the end of the day if you willingly accept the severance package (meaning the employer didn't bully you or scare you into signing it) then it becomes very, very hard to win a lawsuit.

      BTW, I'm not an attorney but as a disabled person I have more familiarity than I'd like with anti-discrimination laws. Thankfully, I've never had to sue, but I have had to stand up for my rights many times.

      Sadly, most of those times happened at Microsoft. The company provides a lot of anti-discrimination training, but most of it is focused on hot button social issues (minorities, LGBTQ employees, etc). Unfortunately I've hardly seen any training on ageism or people with disabilities.
      Mar 14
    • Amazon пысTaker
      It is illegal under federal law for an employer to ask you to waive the right to sue for discrimination against a federally protected group. You also can't be held to a NDA if you are reporting a crime.

      Even if you sign such a doc, you can file a complaint with the eeoc and after 90 days they will issue you a right to sue letter and you can file in federal court. The court will throw out part or all of any agreement that includes a convenient not to sue for discrimination. The only way to wave this right is to reach a settlement that is approved by a judge.

      You can sign away a lot of other rights and agree not to sue for other things but a doc that says you agree not to sue because of discrimination is not a valid contract. The company may use a document that says that you agree that there has been no discrimination and then try to use that against you if you file a lawsuit but this has been largely recognized as intimidation and not valued much as I understand.

      Just as a note companies love to get employees to sign things that are not legally binding. Most of the time the employee doesn't know and is too proud or afraid to get legal advice.

      If you are ever in a office with hr and they are trying to get you to sign something before you leave rather than taking it home signing and returning in a week then there is a good chance it has a few clauses they don't want you to run past a lawyer.
      Mar 14
  • Amazon VpYJ78
    Americans have decided that unions are inevitably bad rather than conditionally good or bad, civic society has no consensus, and in the absence of a counterweight to unchecked regulatory capture, the ability to be legally protected as a group doesn't really exist unless it also has a strong cultural identity and politics associated with it.

    Ie, you can discriminate against all the older employees or all the short employees or all the ugly employees because those groups aren't politically organized and don't seem to constitute a unifiable identity.

    In the case of tech, statistically speaking, the majority of us are opposed to unions and suspicious of government regulation of company staffing policy, which works really well for us until it's our turn to be on the chopping block.

    Nothing's going to change until we as developers think about our short and long term interests and act as a group. If we don't make sure that good devs who can do the work get a fair shot at every stage of our careers, then we'll have the worst of both worlds: in some places deadwood with obsolete skills will be protected, and in others great devs will be fired for having grey hair.
    Mar 144
    • Apple nebraska
      Well said. Thanks! 👍🏽👍🏽
      Mar 14
    • AdRoll ipopwc
      Where can people get involved with this? Especially younger engineers
      Mar 14
    • Barclays PLC bcch42
      @Adroll, why especially young engineer... Isn't that itself discriminatory?
      Mar 14
    • Microsoft HGAI88
      Looks like I should start coloring my hair
      Mar 14
  • Facebook public2
    If over 40, discrimination. If under 40, not.
    Mar 142
    • Microsoft 4655434b
      This applies to the avg age of the workgroup...
      Mar 14
    • Facebook public2
      Understood, pointing out only over 40 is protected
      Mar 14
  • New mdGG61
    I'm 39 now and I'm pretty sure if my company decided to lay off 90% of the dev team, I'd not get the axe. Just be better than your peers. Nobody fires their MVPs
    Mar 144
    • Intuit j123x
      "May your faith save you"
      Mar 14
    • Don't be so sure.
      Mar 15
    • VMware BobbleHat
      What mdgg61 is actually saying is learn how to kneel and open wide to your senior leaders, so the leader know who the “MVP” is.
      Mar 15
    • OpenTable Meliodas
      Clearly, you’ve never worked at Intel.
      Mar 15
  • PayPal #5Pr@x76
    So then what happens to older folks? Where do they go/fit?
    Mar 149
    • Intel 018’!
      WalMart greeter
      Mar 14
    • Intel direct&opn
      System design and leetcode to prepare for interview and get an even higher salary due to years of industry experience..
      Mar 14
    • Microsoft nwnc
      To sell mattresses. Unfortunately met a few ex-Microsofties in their sixties there.
      Mar 15
    • Nutanix hmbsjc1
      Geriatric Porn. It’s a big deal in Japan!!
      Mar 15
    • Amazon LoanerBadg
      @microsoft,why can't they get coding jobs?
      Mar 15
    • Wells Fargo techgeeksf
      Don't worry AOC has your back. She will guarantee $15/hour
      Mar 15
    • Qualcomm asicdesign
      Don't laugh. I know an engineer who's skills got outdated and he wound up homeless. He would have loved fifteen bucks an hour to pay rent
      Mar 15
    • GE SpEd6
      We have quite a few older programmers here. Many can’t get a decent job else where.
      Mar 15
    • Nutanix hmbsjc1
      Not even geriatric porn?
      Mar 15
  • HP PLNS47
    Ageism is sooooo true but all D&I initiatives are towards women
    Mar 144
    • Nutanix hmbsjc1
      Women are easier on the eyes. As a 50+ engineer maybe I need to start wearing makeup to start taking advantage of D&I initiatives!
      Mar 14
    • Uber tomjomes
      I think we have all of *one* female engineer over 50
      Mar 14
    • Nutanix hmbsjc1
      If you’re looking for a 50+ engineer who can write decent code, make inappropriate jokes, good with customers, and still look like a sexy motherfucker please let me know.
      Mar 14
    • Uber tomjomes
      Hire those all day here
      Mar 14
  • Intel direct&opn
    I feel as software engineering is entering the new era, we need to constantly keep learning. If I spend a long time at a place that doesn’t secure my place, because the incoming new grad is well versed in technologies that are entering the market now.

    I believe if I cope up with tech trends and spend 2 hours a day learning, it wouldn’t matter a decade later that I am old, I will be able to justify my high salary.

    I feel companies execute such layoffs because they feel that older employees with high salaries are not contributing enough to justify the high pays!
    Mar 143
    • New neji
      I'm part of an Architecture team where we provide new solutions to other teams. It's crazy how complacent Engineers get with their specialty!
      Mar 14
    • Primer AI gEMD88
      ALWAYS BE LEARNING.
      Mar 15
    • Primer AI gEMD88
      ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE RELYING ON YOUR PHP AND COBOL SKILLS
      Mar 15
  • IBM xuGg35
    It has nothing to do with keeping current. That's a given requirement. Its about companies wanting the cheapest labor than can get sacrificing knowledge and experience for the mighty dollar.
    Mar 141
    • Primer AI gEMD88
      Meh. Think it is both. Difference between keeping up with knowledge (building a graphql demo) and actually using it in production app
      Mar 15
  • Wipro JohnnyCa$h
    This is common in Bayarea, Visa and Cisco lays off 45+ old employees with 2 month severance
    Mar 140
  • Micron BDJO24
    When I’ve seen it, it’s typically because old timers aren’t keeping up with the new technology and automating things. It’s becoming harder for me to change as I enter that age group too. Sigh.
    Mar 146
    • Deloitte weirdflex
      Why is it becoming harder to change? Just do what’s necessary to keep up. This has always confused me. You shouldn’t get a pass to become lazy simply because you’re getting older.
      Mar 17
    • Cloudera rndmnum241
      Absolutely agree weirdflex. There should be no relation to your performance with your age.
      Mar 19
    • BlueSky Technology Partners Bcws66
      When you are young, you are living in the zeitgeist by default. As you get older, your peer group changes, you don’t have 24 hours a day to devote to something single-mindedly, not to mention your perception of time changes and one day, you find that you’ve fallen behind and you never even saw it happening Hell, you may even think you’re on top of it.

      What older workers bring, though, is experience solving problems, deep institutional knowledge, and a balance to their work. What young workers bring is energy and new perspective. Companies should be pairing young and old and if where you work is getting rid of older workers carte blanche, that company isn’t worth one more minute of your life. They don’t give a shit about you.
      Mar 24
    • General Motors QEmN10
      Well said bcws66. I’m not near 40 closer to millennial age. One key skill I use is staying tech savvy and agile but with age comes experience when and how to apply my knowledge. I watch young people burn time and energy designing a tool improperly that’s implemented poorly that solves the wrong problem. My age:experience has me zeroing in on problems and solutions faster than the age groups above and below me.
      Mar 25
    • Airbnb kYFK02
      I’m more up to date on dev best practices than 20 year olds. I also study more. Older employees should be able to pickup new tech faster because we’ve done it a million times before
      Mar 27
    • Amazon PivotMe!
      Sorry to hear this. But don’t assume it’s a problem for the rest of us. It takes energy and effort to stay current. At 60+ and rocking advanced machine learning and predictive modeling. Staying physically active helps. Lots of help out there - don’t give up.
      Mar 27
  • Amazon пысTaker
    If PayPal did layoffs where older employees were affected at a much higher rate than their ratio at the company then they would have a good case for discrimination even without other evidence. Certainly enough to sue and get all docs emails ims and anything else related to the layoffs. PayPal would be stupid to open the door to that type of liability. It wouldn't even matter if they got every one to sign a doc saying they wouldn't sue. You can sign away decimation claim rights.
    Mar 142
    • Amazon Koh Samui
      It’s only decimation if they lay off 1 out of every 10.
      Mar 14
    • Amazon пысTaker
      Even if not proven a class action suit with a broad discovery would not be good for PayPal
      Mar 14
  • New stuY15
    I've worked at some of the biggest tech companies and I worked at one of them since it was a startup.
    My observation is that there is a very large spread between talented engineers and downright fucking idiots. As we get older the dummies start falling out. They get burned out, they change careers but some continue in survival mode, hiding, dodging, politicking until their late 30s when shit slowly begins to float to the surface. These are the guys who get laid off.

    So if you're in your 20s or 30s and went into this racket to get rich quick but you hate coming to work, this is the time to make a change or you'll end up laid off in your 30s-40s. Do what you love, you will be better at it.
    Mar 140
  • Veritas Anyone1
    Actually within the last few years, the US Supreme Court ruled that to be considered discrimination, you have to prove ageism is the primary cause ( https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2017/07/13/the-supreme-court-turns-its-back-on-age-discrimination/#f7b6ffc1a038 ). This has made it next to impossible to get a case to trial since lawyers don’t want to take the case. As an over 50 program manager who was laid off with a lot of other older employees, this is a hard reality in the valley. Many companies are also using hiring practices to avoid employing anyone who has been out of school for many years. I routinely get questions that I could have easily answer when I came out of school but now would need to look up since I haven’t used that knowledge in the 20+ years since school. Sad but true......
    Mar 143
    • Sage khCi60
      Yes you are spot on.
      Mar 14
    • Intel 018’!
      A primary factor is the healthcare for a 50+ year old with a family of 4 is about 10x the cost of a single person under 30.
      Mar 14
    • SpaceX uevh5
      Exactly. In the real world you have a non-zero chance to win only if your age was constantly brought to light in conversations or there was blatant discrimination (and you have proof) or if they canned only the old guys and left the young. But people has lost lawsuits even in these cases
      Mar 14
  • Amazon PivotMe!
    Amazon doesn’t have to do it because they hire 95% young. Is that illegal? YES. I’m 60 and only got in because they needed a very specific skill set. They got what they needed and dumped me. Illegal. YES. Any
    One want to join my class action lawsuit for age discrimination? I am working with top tier attorneys in Boston. FYI, while at AMZN I never met anyone else over 60. I met only 2 people over 50. Illegal? Yes. Amazon is the school yard bully.
    Mar 1510
    • Google Woopsy
      Uh they dumped you when they didn’t need you any more? Isn’t it the definition of “at will” employment?
      Do you expect them to keep you when they don’t need you?
      Mar 15
    • New EMVH32
      @woopsy no that is not the definition of at will employment.

      At-will employment confers rights on both sides: employee and employer may end the job whenever they want, AND also means that anti-discrimination laws are followed.

      Hiring managers unable to make a distinction between an a legal at-will lay-off and discrimination of a protected class is precisely the problem.
      Mar 15
    • Yahoo ThatsAll!
      I was asked twice on google interviews my age. When i told one Person she made joke “I can’t believe you are that much older than me!”

      I told HR and they denied it could have ever happened.
      Mar 15
    • New EMVH32
      Keep notes about that interaction and emails if possible.
      Mar 15
    • New EMVH32
      There are a number of lawsuits ongoing, and you’re going to want to be prepared to tell your story.
      Mar 15
    • Amazon PivotMe!
      Thanks for clarifying At Will. Laws apply.
      Mar 15
    • Google Woopsy
      @EMVH32 how isn’t it the definition of at will employment?
      How do “anti-discrimination laws are followed” prevents from letting go someone when you don’t need them anymore?

      I just went through the usual “managing within the law” training last week and I can’t see how it would be a problem: the discrimination seems only to be a case if you differentiate based on a protected criteria.
      If you let go equally employees when you don’t need them anymore you should be fine
      Mar 15
    • Amazon привет
      True if harsh. If you don't target a protected group and you do have a reason then you can do a layoff and even take a tax credit for severance and cobra costs to a point.
      Mar 15
    • Amazon J3ffB0z0s
      This is what I've been thinking... how can one retire at 65 if it's super tough to get/keep a tech job after 50?

      I'm 35 now but already thinking about plans b and c.
      Mar 16
    • Amazon привет
      Make the move to management where age and experience is valued more than enthusiasm and long hours.
      Mar 16
  • New mdGG61
    I think if you're over 40 but you're still hungry, you either don't get laid off or, if you do, don't have a lot of problems landing another job. However if you're not hungry, then you're more likely to get the axe and, if you do, you have a much harder time finding something else because the lack of motivation shows. Then you start complaining in online forums, blaming management, blaming ageism, blaming H1Bs, talking about lawsuits, unions, etc. You basically blame everyone but yourself.
    Mar 168
    • Nutanix hmbsjc1
      You forgot blaming sexism and occasionally racism also. Not saying that our society doesn’t have those issues.
      But I think you can overcome most of those if you work hard and stay engaged.
      Mar 16
    • Goldman Sachs GDTN51
      You’re half right. Just because a good attitude and energized effort can and will overcome bias doesn't mean the bias doesn't exist and isn't a problem.
      Mar 19
    • New mdGG61
      I agree it exists, but there are two stereotypes for old people. One is the low energy, stuck in the past old person. The other is Gandalf. Nobody ever thinks about firing Gandalf from the team as he's better than everybody else. So people have to aim to be a Gandalf, or they'll be seen as the other guy.
      Mar 19
    • Square xqmktljgdz
      To blame ageism (isms) on individuals is a form of gaslighting and gives companies an out from taking responsibility. Not everyone overcomes biases with hard work, sharp skills, and good attitude.
      Mar 19
    • New mdGG61
      Yeah but then should companies be forced to keep paying people that don't wanna work hard or don't want to sharpen their skills or don't want to improve their attitudes?
      Mar 19
    • Nutanix hmbsjc1
      @square I am not saying ageism, sexism or racism aren’t problems in our society. I’m saying focus, work hard, keep learning new skills, stay positive and good things will happen.
      I have 2 women friends in their late 50s. Mid level managers, good at what they did. Laid off because the entire group was let go. No fault of their own.
      One decided to retire. I’ve been trying to find the other a gig, however she seems to go into every interview thinking she’ll never be hired because she’s a woman and she’s too old. Messed up, and it becomes self-fulfilling.
      That’s the kind of defeatism I’m talking about and want to stay away from.
      Mar 19
    • Adobe 209Teen
      To assume older employees are being let go because they probably lost their fire or don’t want to/ haven’t sharpened their skills is ageism. There are plenty of the younger set who are in this category, but they’re often seen as fresh and go getters. Older employees are often pushed out because they cost more than younger employees, not just in salary.

      A company/team that doesn’t have ageism issues values the depth of knowledge and experience those with longer careers bring with them and help them keep focused on where they can best supplement their skill set, if they aren’t regularly doing this on top of their regular contributions. It also values what the mix of a team of people with various levels of experiences and skill sets who work together well can do.
      Mar 20
    • Athenahealth 3_14159
      > @square I am not saying ageism, sexism or racism aren’t problems in our society. I’m saying focus, work hard, keep learning new skills, stay positive and good things will happen.

      @hmbsjc1, ageism, sexism, and racism are problems literally in that focus, hard work, new skills, and positivity may not make the good things happen.
      Apr 18
  • Tyler Technologies RGOd34
    Older people tend to be more expensive because they’ve progressed in their career more.
    Mar 145
    • Oracle now@google
      Or they knew how to code Cobol, but forgot because the code has been decommissioned long ago.
      Mar 14
    • General Motors sBto05
      If they know COBOL they should move to Tampa and take a job at DTCC. Their COBOL Devs are literally dying off and they pay the local universities to run courses in it.

      And since Wall Street and the big Banks are highly unlikely to just replace their entire back end transactional processing system, it's great job security.
      Mar 14
    • Primer AI gEMD88
      ADA!
      Mar 15
    • Chevron newtoSF
      False
      Mar 17
    • Pinterest PVQy30
      if wall street is unwilling to replace their backend stack, SF / robinhood / fintech startups are more than willing.. they just need a lil bit more time to learn how to get their shit together just enough to be considered reliable and pass regulations
      Mar 20
  • New kr580
    I'm a director used to lead 20+ engineering teams. I ditched all this management shit at the age of 48 and joined a small startup as an IC and a lead of a small team. Startup flopped when I was 49. I was on the market for less than 24 hours. Joined a pre-IPO startup as the IC and a lead of a small team. Happy to report TC but how do you folks calculate it for a pre-IPO company?
    Mar 183
    • Lending Club qwerty456
      Yes
      Mar 19
    • Walmart.com s2a7
      Happy for you bro! This is what I wanted to hear. Talent and capability is all that should matter, not age.
      Mar 19
    • New kr580
      Age does matter, actually :-) one of the CEOs interviewing me told me blatantly straight: I hired these kids and they built a product only they consider product, its a shitty prototype. Now I need grown ups to make it an actual product.
      I didn't take the job, that was a little to much honesty for me :-) but duly noted.
      Mar 20
  • General Motors sBto05
    Most competent HR departments will make sure the mix is just right so that the average age of the layoff pool is under 40, racially ambiguous, and 50/50 gender split. When GM had theirs a month ago and there were 9 different metrics disclosed as proof there was no discrimination or favoritism of any kind.

    Unfortunately that kind of over managed shit show caused us to lose a good number of older, well paid, but very talented people.
    Mar 143
    • Amazon !JeffBezos
      Bingo. I like watching all the tech people act like the obvious HR standpoint isn’t to just tiptoe the boundaries by selecting a solution that is ambiguous of intent.
      Mar 15
    • Intel intcdecay
      Same at Intel 2 years ago. Real solid talent took the early retirement after Subtle references to next layoff would not be as generous.
      Mar 15
    • General Motors QEmN10
      Fair point but talented people leaving opens opportunities for others to shine and grow when perhaps not previously possible.
      Mar 25
  • Microsoft tech.ladki
    Could old people be in the layoffs by correlation and not causation?
    If the layoffs were by the makes the highest pay?
    Mar 141
    • Amazon пысTaker
      Technically yes but one could say they intentional picked that criteria because it ties to older employees and have enough to force a fairly invasive discovery and PayPal better hope there are no emails from anyone who could even be construed as a decision maker that says something like older people make more or a chart that shows average sal by age.
      Mar 14
  • Gartner FrmGartner
    I was laid off from Gartner. Vast majority on the list were over 40 and a lot spent 20 to 30 years there. They do not care about you.
    Mar 141
    • Synopsys Gusheudgai
      That is not fair, you didn’t work there for free!
      Mar 15
  • Airbnb doot
    Agism flows like wine on tap around these parts.
    Mar 140
  • Palo Alto Networks ftyrio
    I have not experienced this at all. my 40’s were the most successful time. I am in high demand for my skills. Software engineer have a unemployment number less than 1%, great pay, tons of respect by employers. I think “ageism” is way overhyped. Could it happen? sure, but that is not the normal case. In this economy, anyone being laid off is because of skill/productivity issue. Stop whining and improve your skills.
    Mar 141
  • New tooQ10
    In young people's defense, today's fresh graduates are really, really talented compared to past decades. Twenty years ago I got a professional white collar job thanks to being a STEM major, speaking three languages, being able to write basic HTML, and having a 3.1 GPA from my state school. Worked in the university cafeteria and at a batting cage during the summers. That would get someone laughed out of the building today.
    Mar 140
  • People over 40 are protected from age discrimination. As an employer myself, this can be tricky when there are areas where an older employee may not be as enthusiastic or productive as a younger employee in the same position, but get paid considerably more. A big employer like PayPal most likely got plenty of counsel before making such a move. Also tenured laid off employees often get attractive exit packages to soften the blow. Discrimination is more evident if soon after a lay-off a younger employee is put in the same position.

    The best way to keep a job in long term is to continue to add value to the company, add expertise, and/or be willing to relocate or change jobs as the company’s needs change.
    Mar 144
    • PayPal gTuR87
      I wholeheartedly disagree that over 40 is less enthusiastic or productive. This statement in and of itself is discriminatory. While some may get lackadaisical, this is not a fact (and I happen to know a hirer percentage of lazy youngsters in corporate America than those of us who have earned our higher pay based on proven skills and advanced experience).

      I would also note for some other commenters that over 40 does not simply get paid more because we are older, it’s because we have EARNED it by proving ourselves.

      And not everyone is content to stay in the same role/company just because they make enough money.
      Mar 15
    • Facebook RazPutin
      @gTuR87 Agreed.

      > The best way to keep a job in long term is to continue to add value to the company, add expertise, and/or be willing to relocate or change jobs as the company’s needs change.

      This is the important bit. If you can't add value, why should your employer pay you? This is fundamentally what it comes down to.
      Mar 17
    • Gtur87- I get your point. Note I didn’t say that over 40’s are less enthusiastic or productive- just those who are may be protected. I’m 50 and busier and more enthusiastic than ever. And I definitely see a lot of lazy youngsters too. I’ve got a 60+ colleague who has tons of experience but not enthusiastic about the long term of the company, for obvious reasons. And it shows up in his productivity
      Mar 24
    • PayPal gTuR87
      Then the discrimination is obvious when we HAVE added value with large, known projects, with proven results, and continued enthusiasm and productivity - when provided the authority and autonomy to do so for the organization’s benefit. Just saying - be clearer on your statements.
      Mar 24
  • Uber tomjomes
    I was at a company that did a huge layoff - 50% of eng and product. No one over 40 remained employed.
    Mar 144
    • Microsoft huiii
      What company
      Mar 15
    • Uber tomjomes
      I can't tell that - could reveal my identity
      Mar 15
    • If it was “huge” lay-off, it wouldn’t reveal identity
      Mar 16
    • Uber tomjomes
      Great so look up the large layoffs from edd data and guess
      Mar 16
  • New VSwf01
    Did it matter what position they were in?
    Mar 141
    • VMware BiggySmlz
      No, age related layoffs are protected so it doesn't matter. It is too easy to exploit young workers who fearing loss of income accept bad management demands. More experienced workers speak up, and while hard to distinguish between lazy and experienced you should err on the conservative analysis.
      Mar 14
  • Microsoft MxsWci156
    Spent 6 years at IBM and the problem is real. There were folks who were simply not motivated, very happy with their existing pay checks. Becoz Ibm doesn’t have an up or out policy, there were some folks who spent 10-12 years happily at the same band level.... doing the same thing over and over again. I don’t think companies can be blamed.. especially if they are targeting these type of people that I’m talking about... and they are in abundance at ibm.
    Mar 157
    • New EMVH32
      A company can achieve whatever staffing mix they want and they can do it without violating anybody’s rights or breaking the law.

      That’s what makes these noob managers on a power trip so dangerous.
      Mar 15
    • New tooQ10
      What's wrong with spending 10-12 years at the same level if you're competent, earning that pay level, and not talented enough for the next level up? Should such workers be booted out "just because"?
      Mar 15
    • Google iambackag
      Mature companies need that. Google is becoming the same.
      Mar 15
    • New tooQ10
      @iambackag - As an over-40 individual contributor, I'd be happy to do that, but my company has excessive KPIs designed to get non-managers to leave. No idea how I've made it through more than a decade of this nonsense
      Mar 15
    • Nutanix hmbsjc1
      Basically what ends up happening is that the next downturn hits, revenue shrinks, execs look for fat to trim and the old unmotivated folks get let go.
      I had this happen to a buddy. Zero motivation, no real skills other than sitting in meetings, was laid off at age 57.
      The last 5-6 years he’s been sitting at home and watching Fox News all day.
      Mar 15
    • Google iambackag
      As I said, I am in my late 50s and I think it is reasonable. All being equal, preferring a young engineer to an old one is reasonable.
      Mar 15
    • Nutanix hmbsjc1
      Disagree. I think the best engineering teams have a mix of old and young.
      The yin and yang is awesome!
      Mar 15
  • Amazon gmni
    It is not always about age.. it is about attitude and TC. You replaced someone older because they had a ‘settled in the role/org’ attitude and the management thought they were too costly for the team. Solution - replace them with someone younger who has a go getter attitude and will be relatively cheaper to hire.
    Mar 171
    • Sage khCi60
      Yes that is the ageist attitude that amazon person above is demonstrating without realizing it. Obvious bias
      Mar 18
  • Airbnb IfbEfHnz
    Yes, yes, and yes. Ageism needs to stop, and unfortunately it is very much a thing :(

    Best way to stop it is to call that shit out. If you feel like you can’t, then find allies who will.
    Mar 140
  • Microsoft true-doh
    Also I am curious as to why it doesn't affect people in managerial roles? Is it because it's harder to replace managers?
    Mar 145
    • Adobe xbid57
      Maybe because unless it's as drastic as an entire business unit being let go, they're the ones who get to draw up the list?
      Mar 15
    • Microsoft true-doh
      I don't see how that makes them immune. Managers report to a skip who tracks their performance. If a senior engineer who shows promise as a manager and could do the job for a lower wage then the current one, why not give them a shot?
      Mar 15
    • Adobe xbid57
      May not work that way in reality...from the skip's POV, better the devil you know than the one you don't etc.
      Mar 15
    • VMware BobbleHat
      Risking an entire team trying a new manager isn’t something any competent senior leader would do. Managers get groomed by their direct manager and given responsibility slowly.
      Mar 15
    • Primer AI gEMD88
      Managers usually there for a good reason and in my experience player and coach. Critical institutional knowledge and helping mentor team.
      Mar 15
  • Amazon пысTaker
    The employer’s reasons for layoffs cannot in any way relate to the worker’s gender, race, religion, disability or age. In some states, employers also cannot make layoff decisions based on sexual orientation or other characteristics. When making layoff decisions, it’s best to use criteria that are not related to any legally protected class
    Mar 143
    • Amazon frmnt
      It can but it shouldn't
      Mar 14
    • Intel 018’!
      Wow, you under 40 white/Asian males are fucked
      Mar 14
    • New LGwK11
      Lol if you think Amazon has never done that, you are out of your mind.
      Mar 14
  • BlackRock xis
    Its hard to prove they replaced you with someone. Let alone replaced you with someone younger. Only the firm has that data. The official reason for layoff is “this position is no longer required...”

    Limited arbitration does not allow extensive discovery of information. Most employment contracts have a provision to not allow you to file any lawsuit let alone a class action.

    Its sad but corporations will get away with this. But then again the people make up a firm. So people are ageist, corporation as an entity expresses this bias.
    Mar 240
  • New kr580
    I have another observation: one of the reasons of this ageism is threads like that (everywhere from HN to Blind, Linkedin, you name it).42 year old reads it, tellsnthemself ”shit I need to man up and become a manager”, and that's how a decent eng becomes shitty mgr. When the time comes he is first to go.

    I have a management background, and went back to almost IC, because it suck folks. It's a shitty job to do. You've built a team, you did great together, now it's the rainy day and you need to decide which of your friends needs to go: best eng in your team, single, citizen, or a L1 visa eng who does so-so, has 2 kids and is going back to his ”shithole” country, as our Fearless Leader says.

    If you don't like it, rinse and repeat. You have a 20+ team.

    Also, management is a service job. Like janitor. Engs create product, we managers serve them. Yes, top brass gives us a hand job with titles and packages, but when the rain starts to pour...
    Mar 200
  • Sage khCi60
    Yes it happens everywhere and no one talks about it. And they will replace those positions w lower requirements lower job levels basically lowering the position. That saves the company money. And...it also keeps the age lower
    Mar 140
  • Adobe 209Teen
    Microsoft was subject to different lawsuits so they handled their ageism layoffs differently and instead targeted people they wanted to leave and made their work lives difficult. It saved them from some severance packages and made it more difficult for employees to bring a class action. They did this by doing things like taking managers and reorging them under more junior managers and requiring the long time employees to now perform work they either haven’t done in a long time, or never done, but not giving any ramp up time with managers who knew less than them. So this made it easier for them to treat the long time employees as if they were under performing then tank their reviews, not promote them, etc. and eventually employees left on their own or stayed long enough to be fired or laid off, but now their records weren’t as great so there was more of a case for their lay off. I know several people who went through this.

    I hear it’s better now.
    Mar 152
    • Microsoft xzVe11
      Spot on. Had the same experience a year ago
      Mar 15
    • Adobe 209Teen
      A year ago? Then it isn’t better.
      Mar 16
  • IBM xuGg35
    IBM is dealing with a class action suit for similar practices.
    Mar 142
    • Intel 018’!
      Intel did two years ago.
      Mar 14
    • Tektronix BlueBerd
      Oracle has done this too!
      Mar 15

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