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  • A new lawsuit filed against PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accuses the company of discriminating against older people seeking employment.
Wednesday, 04 April 2018 00:00

A new lawsuit filed against PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accuses the company of discriminating against older people seeking employment.

Written by Jonathan Druckman

The lawsuit alleges that the company’s policy of college campus recruiting falls within the definition of ageist.

Despite the fact that employers have been going to college campuses to recruit new applicants for decades, a group of older male workers has filed a lawsuit against the PwC. At first glance, one may not think much of the lawsuit. However, company documents indicated a statistical analysis of over 100,000 PwC candidates that raises some eyebrows. According to these documents, 18% of the applicants who were under 40 were hired into their tax assurance business department while, only 3% of candidates who were over 40 were hired. The plaintiffs in this case are currently in the process of seeking class status which would make a potential class size of over 14,000 people.

However, the plaintiffs in this particular case may have trouble winning as there is not much case precedent for a case of this type. A large difference between the two groups of candidates is that older generations can be seen as more rigid or less flexible than more recent graduates. Many college graduates also have training in new technology practices which can make them more marketable to employers. Many surveys conducted by tech workers both in and out of Silicon Valley have identified that they fear getting replaced because of their age.

As a percentage of the workforce, the millennials are expected to outnumber the Baby Boomers population by next year. Millennials already make up the largest segment of the workforce. It remains unseen how generational differences will play out over the long-term as Generation Z enters the workforce. But as companies target college students and work to establish pipeline schools to feed into their workplace, older persons are inherently excluded from the pool of potential candidates.

The landmark Supreme Court decision in Smith v. City of Jackson, held that older workers may prove age discrimination based on disparate impact. Many large corporations have launched diversity and inclusion programs in an attempt to gain employees from different backgrounds. However, it is rare for these diversity programs to include a class of older workers. In a study by Bloomberg, a candidate was five times more likely to be hired if they were under 40 years of age.

The company has passionately defended its campus recruiting practices. Regardless of whether or not the hiring practice of companies that recruit new hires from colleges is actually discriminatory, the impact the hiring practice has on older workers is evident. Another example of alleged age discrimination that made headlines was back in December of 2017 when the Communications Workers of America filed a class action claiming that hundreds of employers were illegally targeting young people via Facebook advertising.

The PwC lawsuit is still pending in Federal Court in San Francisco.

Let us know what your thoughts on the pending PwC lawsuit are in the comment section below. If you believe that you were subject to any form of discrimination and believe that you were wrongly terminated from your job, you may be entitled to monetary relief. Call the lawyers at Druckman & Hernandez to find out how to protect your rights! Speak with a lawyer 7 days a week: 908-353-5850.

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