Tech Startups: Digital Sweatshops With Snacks?

My article this week in Above The Law is entitled “Tech Startups: ‘Digital Sweatshops With Snacks?’”

It involves a question asked by a “new” hiring supervisor at a tech startup as to whether it is illegal for her to follow an order from above to “exclude candidates of a certain age” (i.e., over 40), because “our ideal new hires are ‘young, bright, high energy, etc.,’” while folks over 40 “are on the ‘back nine’ of a career.”

I noted that tech startups are notorious for being hotbeds of discrimination and harassment, and paraphrased a writer by calling tech startups “digital sweatshops with snacks.”

While the supervisor asked a “softball question,” nonetheless there are “a few good takeaways [for employers], besides the fact that the manager is asking the ‘new supervisor’ to violate every anti-discrimination law on the books relating to age, thereby exposing the startup company to enormous liability.”

Read the takeaways here.

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Richard Cohen

Richard B. Cohen is a partner in the New York City office of FisherBroyles, LLP, a national law firm. Richard Cohen has litigated and arbitrated complex corporate, commercial and employment disputes for more than 35 years, and is a trusted advisor to business owners and in-house counsel both in the United States and internationally. His clients have included Fortune 100 companies, domestic and foreign commercial and investment banks, Pacific-rim corporations and real estate development companies, as well as start-up businesses throughout the United States. Email Richard at [email protected]