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California high court to hear Google age discrimination case

California Supreme Court to consider lawsuit filed by ex-Googler who claims he was fired for being too old at 54.

The California Supreme Court said on Wednesday it will consider an age discrimination lawsuit filed against Google by a then-54-year-old manager who was fired six months before the company went public in 2004.

In his lawsuit, Brian Reid alleges he was told he was not a "cultural fit" when he was being fired from his job in February 2004. He also claims that his colleagues referred to him as "old man" and "fuddy-duddy."

Google has declined to comment on the matter but says Reid was let go because the in-house graduate degree program department he had been assigned to was eliminated.

In October, a California state appeals court in San Jose threw out a lower court's decision to dismiss the lawsuit. The appeals court said a jury should have been allowed to consider the evidence in the case, including a statistical analysis that found that younger Googlers typically received better performance ratings and higher bonuses. Google then appealed that ruling.

Reid, who joined Google in June 2002 as director of operations and director of engineering, helped to create the first firewall, and worked on the AltaVista Internet search engine and the alt.* hierarchy of newsgroups in Usenet.

The California Supreme Court did not say when it would hear the case but it will likely be before June, which is when its schedule for hearing oral arguments typically ends.