Florida man accuses Apple store of age discrimination

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A Florida man in his 60s has sued Apple, alleging that he was denied promotions when he worked at the company's retail store because of his age.



Michael Katz has accused Apple of violating the state's Civil Rights Act, as he believes he was subjected to discrimination based on his age. The complaint, filed this week, seeks damages in excess of $15,000.



Katz began working as a Mac specialist at the Apple store at Millennia Mall in Orlando in March 2006, when he was 60 years old. In his lawsuit, he says he expressed his desire to be promoted to the title of "Creative."



In his tenure at the Apple store, there were "several" openings for creatives at the store, and Katz claims he applied each time but was denied the position. Those who were selected for the job were at least 15 years younger than him, he said.



"Katz was passed over for promotion multiple times in favor of individuals with less seniority with Apple and inferior qualifications," the complaint reads. "Katz was not provided with any explanation for his repeated denail of promotion opportunities. Rather, his supervisor simply denied that Katz had ever expressed a desire to obtain a Creative position."



Katz was "constructively terminated" from the Orlando store in September 2007, and he filed charges of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Florida Commission on Human Relations. In June 2009, the EEOC reportedly found "reasonable cause" that Katz was denied promotions by Apple because of his age.



"The EEOC attempted to conciliate the matter, but those efforts failed," the complaint reads. It also notes that the FCHR did not issue a determination on his case.







"Katz's FCRA claims are therefore ripe for litigation, and he is permitted, pursuant to Florida Statute 760.07 to file a civil action in this Court seeking a remedy for the unlawful employment practices described herein," it states.



The suit was filed in the 9th Judiial Circuit Court in Orange County, Florida, where the Orlando store is located. Katz is seeking back pay and and damages from the Cupertino, Calif., company.
«13456789

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 180
    povilaspovilas Posts: 473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A Florida man in his 60s has sued Apple, alleging that he was denied promotions when he worked at the company's retail store because of his age.



    Michael Katz has accused Apple of violating the state's Civil Rights Act, as he believes he was subjected to discrimination based on his age. The complaint, filed this week, seeks damages in excess of $15,000.



    Katz began working as a Mac specialist at the Apple store at Millennia Mall in Orlando in March 2006, when he was 60 years old. In his lawsuit, he says he expressed his desire to be promoted to the title of "Creative."



    In his tenure at the Apple store, there were "several" openings for creatives at the store, and Katz claims he applied each time but was denied the position. Those who were selected for the job were at least 15 years younger than him, he said.



    "Katz was passed over for promotion multiple times in favor of individuals with less seniority with Apple and inferior qualifications," the complaint reads. "Katz was not provided with any explanation for his repeated denail of promotion opportunities. Rather, his supervisor simply denied that Katz had ever expressed a desire to obtain a Creative position."



    Katz was "constructively terminated" from the Orlando store in September 2007, and he filed charges of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Florida Commission on Human Relations. In June 2009, the EEOC reportedly found "reasonable cause" that Katz was denied promotions by Apple because of his age.



    "The EEOC attempted to conciliate the matter, but those efforts failed," the complaint reads. It also notes that the FCHR did not issue a determination on his case.







    "Katz's FCRA claims are therefore ripe for litigation, and he is permitted, pursuant to Florida Statute 760.07 to file a civil action in this Court seeking a remedy for the unlawful employment practices described herein," it states.



    The suit was filed in the 9th Judiial Circuit Court in Orange County, Florida, where the Orlando store is located. Katz is seeking back pay and and damages from the Cupertino, Calif., company.



    Shame on you, Apple.
  • Reply 2 of 180
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,418member
    Go Katz!
  • Reply 3 of 180
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    I actually believe the guy. I don't believe someone goes through the trouble of contacting the EEOC for no reason at all. I don't believe the guys manager on any level. It's entirely believable that Apple would do something like this.
  • Reply 4 of 180
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Povilas View Post


    Shame on you, Apple.



    You have only heard one side of the story. You have idea if he really was the “most qualified” or if those qualifications were enough to counter a poor attitude toward other employees and customers, or if he really expressed interest in the position. Why was he terminated and who else at Apple has been treated this way by Katz manager(s) or Apple in general which shows a pattern of attitude toward the non-hipster crowd or whatever you want to call it.



    PS: I agree with AdoniSMU that it’s believable, but that doesn’t mean it’s true.
  • Reply 5 of 180
    His opinion of less qualified is just that, HIS opinion.
  • Reply 6 of 180
    From the limited details we have, it sounds like a honest case. But...we dont know how well he performed in his job or how his attendance was, his customer service skills were...etc, etc. Maybe he sucked as an employee and the younger employees showed more drive and commitment.
  • Reply 7 of 180
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post


    I actually believe the guy. It's entirely believable that Apple would do something like this.



    While I would want to see justice served if in fact the guy was a victim of age discrimination, why would you think it's "entirely believable that Apple would do something like this"?



    I've never seen any allegations that Apple has a corporate culture of age discrimination, and beyond some kind of general impression that the tech industry work force tends to skew young I don't know why I should suspect it.



    Further, we're talking about a particular store, so even if these allegation prove true, it's likely a problem with that store manager rather than some directive from Cupertino to hold back the old guys at the store.



    In fact, given their efforts at appealing to a broad demographic, I would expect having some older staff members at the Stores would be seen by Apple as an asset. A 40 year old plus iPad buyer might find it pleasant to work with someone closer to their own age as opposed to a slightly manic 22 year old who can barely disguise their impatience.
  • Reply 8 of 180
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    You have only heard one side of the story. You have idea if he really was the “most qualified” or if those qualifications were enough to counter a poor attitude toward other employees and customers, or if he really expressed interest in the position. Why was he terminated and who else at Apple has been treated this way by Katz manager(s) or Apple in general which shows a pattern of attitude toward the non-hipster crowd or whatever you want to call it.



    Since it's a civil matter I think it's more likely than not that this guy was discriminated against because I don't think someone files an EEOC complaint over a position they simply weren't interested in. Second if the manager didn't know the guy had an interest in the position after applying for it multiple times he should've even just in passing....just trying to cover up the discrimination. Otherwise he would've simply said we can't hire you for this position for XYZ reasons. Since the manager couldn't point to any good reasons that leaves the reasons that would be bad reasons...
  • Reply 9 of 180
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A Florida man in his 60s has sued Apple, alleging that he was denied promotions when he worked at the company's retail store because of his age.



    Michael Katz has accused Apple of violating the state's Civil Rights Act, as he believes he was subjected to discrimination based on his age. The complaint, filed this week, seeks damages in excess of $15,000.



    Katz began working as a Mac specialist at the Apple store at Millennia Mall in Orlando in March 2006, when he was 60 years old. In his lawsuit, he says he expressed his desire to be promoted to the title of "Creative."



    In his tenure at the Apple store, there were "several" openings for creatives at the store, and Katz claims he applied each time but was denied the position. Those who were selected for the job were at least 15 years younger than him, he said.



    "Katz was passed over for promotion multiple times in favor of individuals with less seniority with Apple and inferior qualifications," the complaint reads. "Katz was not provided with any explanation for his repeated denail of promotion opportunities. Rather, his supervisor simply denied that Katz had ever expressed a desire to obtain a Creative position."



    Katz was "constructively terminated" from the Orlando store in September 2007, and he filed charges of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Florida Commission on Human Relations. In June 2009, the EEOC reportedly found "reasonable cause" that Katz was denied promotions by Apple because of his age.



    "The EEOC attempted to conciliate the matter, but those efforts failed," the complaint reads. It also notes that the FCHR did not issue a determination on his case.







    "Katz's FCRA claims are therefore ripe for litigation, and he is permitted, pursuant to Florida Statute 760.07 to file a civil action in this Court seeking a remedy for the unlawful employment practices described herein," it states.



    The suit was filed in the 9th Judiial Circuit Court in Orange County, Florida, where the Orlando store is located. Katz is seeking back pay and and damages from the Cupertino, Calif., company.



    Comment

    This will cheaper to settle out of court.



    I am not surprised the man did not get promoted to a creative position. His suit and the way it is made up does not sound very creative. The only thing is unfortunately it will cost Apple more to handle this through the legal channels. Offer him $10K so long as he signs a no further action agreement. OR tie him up in legal knots for 15-20 years and nature might take its course.



    Sad really at least he had a job, many would have traded with him just for the Job.
  • Reply 10 of 180
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Povilas View Post


    Shame on you, Apple.



    Shame on you for making a snap judgment.



    We don't have all the facts so no one should be making any kind of judgments. Perhaps it was about his age. Perhaps it was not. Perhaps the gentleman is wrong about his contention that those picked were un or under qualified. Perhaps he was passed over due to his availability to work the needed number of hours and/or actual hours of the day required. Perhaps he was passed over due to his personality. When you are working one on one with someone who could be a bonafide computer idiot for an extended period, personality would matter
  • Reply 11 of 180
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by htoelle View Post


    Comment

    This will cheaper to settle out of court.



    I am not surprised the man did not get promoted to a creative position. His suit and the way it is made up does not sound very creative. The only thing is unfortunately it will cost Apple more to handle this through the legal channels. Offer him $10K so long as he signs a no further action agreement. OR tie him up in legal knots for 15-20 years and nature might take its course.



    Sad really at least he had a job, many would have traded with him just for the Job.



    Having just defended Apple in a previous post I have to say that this is completely uncalled for. If the guy has a legitimate gripe (and it's certainly not out of the question) then he should be compensated and the store in question should change its polices.



    Claiming that any kind of discrimination is OK because he's lucky to have a job at all is just nasty. It's a frightened peasant mentality that until recently wasn't really part of the American character.
  • Reply 12 of 180
    jmmxjmmx Posts: 341member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kwoot27 View Post


    From the limited details we have, it sounds like a honest case. But...we dont know how well he performed in his job or how his attendance was, his customer service skills were...etc, etc. Maybe he sucked as an employee and the younger employees showed more drive and commitment.



    Of course what you say IS possible. But his assessment is equally possible. As was mentioned in the article, an attempt at reconciliation was attempted. At such, Mr Katz would have seen any evidence against his performance (one would assume). If there were serious issues here, then it seems to me unlikely that he would pursue the claim.



    Of course, one never knows this. There are those who are oblivious to realistic criticism and go on feeling themselves to be injured party blind to their own issues. This is why we have juries.



    However, I have to say that I have noticed how there are almost no older people working in Apple stores. It is hard not to wonder if there is not some discrimination going on. It does not need to be official. It is natural that people "feel more comfortable" with others in their own peer group - whatever that peer group may be. It is also very easy to find fault. So it is easy to see how younger people in hiring positions can always come away thinking "Gee, I just feel better about the younger guy." When repeated - that is discrimination.
  • Reply 13 of 180
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    Shame on you for making a snap judgment.



    Plz stop it. Jobs' ass is way too clean already.
  • Reply 14 of 180
    c4rlobc4rlob Posts: 277member
    What I find suspicious is that Katz claims that during his "tenure" other people were hired for the Creative position instead of him - speaking as if he had been a proven long-time employee. He was hired in March, and fired 18 months later. He obviously didn't have much of a "tenure" to speak of when he started applying for such a competitive position. And did he every make his desire known to the store manager personally beyond just submitting a paper application? I interviewed with Apple for a Creative position and was offered the Specialist position instead; and as in any retail environment I was specifically told there was no guarantee I would automatically be considered for a promotion to Creative.
  • Reply 15 of 180
    At first glance I'm inclined to side with the employee. In my area I know of other two older folks being told by Apple Store management that they may not be the best fit for the Store. When asked why, one person was told that Apple was seeking a "youthful vibrance". I don't know the complete back story of the employee in this article but store management more often than not plays to the core desires of corporate. If that's the case in this article then Apple does have a problem and it's from a corporate prospective.
  • Reply 16 of 180
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,310member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Povilas View Post


    Shame on you, Apple.



    I admire your ability to reach a judgement simply on the basis of this one-sided complaint! Has no law firm contacted you yet for a senior partner position?



    Please, offer your incredible insight to us folks that are not as gifted as to how you see the proof that Apple was at fault. I'm sure you have it because we all know you would never rush to judgement until you know all the facts of the case.
  • Reply 17 of 180
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post


    I don't think someone files an EEOC complaint over a position they simply weren't interested in.



    People do all sorts of reason because they are selfish, spiteful or just plain loco. You?re thinking rationally and fairly, but you have to consider that there are a number of people in this world who aren?t.
  • Reply 18 of 180
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by emulator View Post


    Plz stop it. Jobs' ass is way too clean already.



    Right. Because any time anything at all is alleged about Apple, or any of its employees, we must immediately agree that Apple is in the wrong and guilty, guilty, guilty, or it's evidence of mindless devotion.



    In fact, I can't see why this is even a matter for the courts. It should be enough to tell the guy that Jobs' ass is way too clean already and throw him onto the street. If anyone objects we can scream "Fan boys!" and be done with it.
  • Reply 19 of 180
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,884member
    I certainly cannot comment on the merits of this case -- there's just not enough information.



    But aside from this case, I suspect we are about to see an avalanche of these types of lawsuits throughout all industries over the next few years. The most self-centered, "entitled" generation in the history of the world is now entering old age. The babyboomers are going to take the idea of "grumpy old man" to a whole new level.
  • Reply 20 of 180
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    this says nothing about Apple, and more about the specific store. Even still, we don't know enough to simply take either side.



    He was canned after one year. To ME, this indicates he was passed over for a promotion for other reasons.
Sign In or Register to comment.