Walk around most Apple stores and you’ll notice that the vast majority of those working there are under 30. You would hope that age has nothing to do with why they got the job and that they’re employed based solely on an ability to do the job, but a New York Times op-ed seems to prove otherwise.
The Ashton Applewhite piece on age discrimination cites the case of former Apple engineer JK Scheinberg, a 21-year Cupertino veteran and the man who persuaded Steve Jobs to migrate the Mac from PowerPC to Intel processors in 2005. He’s a person who really deserves the title of “Apple genius.”
However, not long after retiring in 2008, Scheinberg became restless and decided to apply to work at the Genius Bar as a customer support representative. At 54, he was twice as old as anyone else in the group interview, but considering his past experience, he should have had no problem getting the job.
"'On the way out, all three of the interviewers singled me out and said, 'We'll be in touch,' " he said. 'I never heard back.'"
The case isn’t a unique one. 60-year-old Michael Katz, a former Mac specialist, sued Apple for age discrimination in 2010. He alleged that the company promoted less senior and less qualified employees over him and that he missed out on promotions several times due to his age. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had already found “reasonable cause” that he had been passed over for promotion due to his age.
Apple has yet to comment on the Times article.