There is little doubt in my mind that as our population becomes older, the incidents of discrimination and harassment based on age and related claims (such as disability discrimination) will be on a rise. San Jose and the rest of Silicon Valley area will not be an exception. I believe that at least two major reasons for age discrimination are: (1) the perception among the young and the bright in the technology world that the peers of their generation know better and are more up to date when it comes to progress and the most current trends in the industry; (2) older workers are likely to work slower, be more prone to taking time off for illnesses and other health related reasons, thereby not being able to participate and contribute as aggressively to the growth of the company; and because, as bad as it might sounds.
The above are nothing more than generalizations that attempt to sweep the entire age group or multiple age groups into the same category of stagnant, slow and unwilling to learn workers. In reality, many experienced software specialist are both willing to learn as much or more than their younger peers, and they benefit from their past experience in computer science and other fields. Many older workers are far more responsible and attentive to their work because often have more at steaks - they have families and children who they have to provide for. They also know that if they were to lose a job at an older age, finding a new one would be much harder than to someone who was in his 20's or 30's. Thus, their tend to value their work more than a young hot shot who might be bouncing from one company to another, constantly looking for a better deal.
Age discrimination lawsuits will continue to be filed by employees who feel betrayed and kicked to the curb by their employers, especially in those cases where the older workers are particularly hurt by discrimination because they had a lengthy career at the same company (10 years or more) and they feel they gave so much of their time and their mind to the company.
It is not a secret that many companies strongly prefer that their sales stuff consist of physically attractive individuals - be it very young and attractive women, or both men and women who are still - young. It has been recognized for many generations in business that beauty sells, and beautiful people sell more and better. However, legitimizing this kind of approach to employing sales people in any industry perpetuates discriminatory employment practices against older workers, thereby turning them into victims of something that is completely out of their control, and something that awaits each and every one of us - being older - if we are lucky enough to live that long.
California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits not hiring, termination or otherwise discriminating against potential or existing employees based on age. Of course, the vast majority of employers this day and age know better than tell an employee outright that they terminated him/her because of age. However, there are other, creative ways to prove age-related bias by the employer against an older employee through the so-called "circumstantial" evidence. This typical includes encouraging an employee to retire early, giving an employee age-based nicknames such as "dad" or "father time" or "oldie" or "grandpa," making such comments as "we need fresh blood in here" or "we need someone faster," or systematically replacing older workers with the younger once due to fabricated performance issues. This kind of evidence may be critical in trial or in any attempt to settle your age discrimination claim. Therefore, it's critical that you preserve as much of the documentation as possible that would reflect one or more of the above kinds of evidence.