back to article Oracle's legal woes deepen: Big Red sued (again) for age and medical 'discrimination'

A former Oracle salesperson has sued the database giant in the US, claiming the company discriminated against him because of his age and a medical disability. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday on behalf of Glenn Murphy, 64, in a circuit court in St. Louis County, Missouri, contends that the alleged discrimination reflects a …

  1. The Bloke next door

    O.r.a.c.l.e

    Isn't being replaced by a younger model...the pod hasn't matured yet.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    O.r.a.c.l.e

    Isn't being replaced by a younger model...the pod hasn't matured yet.

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Dumb Corporate Profit Tricks.

    This seems really stupid to me. Get rid of the those with knowledge and experience and replace them "cheaper" people with little knowledge and no experience. Bottom line rules apply though to increase profits. Pity that the company (and the others) won't enforce that rule on the senior management and the board.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dumb Corporate Profit Tricks.

      Companies which have lost (or never had) the ability to innovate, design, develop, etc. often end up trying to cut their way to success.

      Either with layoffs, or unscrupulous hiring & firing practices like age discrimination, swapping employees for "outsourced" contractor replacements (who are sometimes essentially indentured servants to some awful consulting firm), unpaid interns doing work that should be paid, any number of similar examples of corporate greed and bad, if not illegal, behavior.

      This is what passes for "vision" and "leadership" in modern corporations. Some of them actually believe in what they're doing, others are merely evil leeches, wringing every last dollar out of the company for themselves, and devil take the rest.

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Dumb Corporate Profit Tricks.

      This is a short term strategy that will leave any company in a poorer competitive position. Companies that value talent and ability do not care about the person's age, sex, etc. but about what they can bring to the table. They will hire grey hairs and those in diapers as they bring different skills they need and treat both with respect.

      1. wayward4now
        Mushroom

        Re: Dumb Corporate Profit Tricks.

        I remember several Fortune 500 companies I worked for who pulled this stunt. Typically, they would first indoctrinate the sales force with Marketing 101 tactics, like making the close, blah blah! Then they started hiring college marketing grads. The lost their asses AND valuable sales force and their customers as they were quickly hired elsewhere. Of course you had to be valuable enough for your new employer to invest in lawyers to defend you from non-compete suits. \not to mention the vengeance motive for taking every red cent in sales away from the previous employer. I lived for that getting even motive.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dumb Corporate Profit Tricks.

      " Get rid of the those with knowledge and experience and replace them "cheaper" people with little knowledge and no experience."

      Yes. Especially damaging for a corporation like Oracle whose main product, database, isn't a simple thing at all and it takes several years to understand how it actually works. Several years more to make any changes to code.

      No wonder the technical progress in Oracle has almost stopped, them young ones have no idea what to do and it's almost solely a marketing company now.

      DB version increases every other year, but actual changes are done by a very,very small group of old guys and most of that is "only" fixing the bugs. "Only" as it's hard as it is but not much anything new is being developed: The marketing just changes the names of the old features to new features and then advertises those as 'new product'.

  4. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Where there is smoke

    Reminded of the adage 'Where there is smoke, there is a fire'. There are too many of these complaints for there not to be an illegal policy underlying these actions. There are a couple of problems. Any competent salesperson will tell you the '80 - 20 rule' is largely correct for your sales, your easiest sales come from existing customers even the small accounts, and showing the flag to all your customers is makes for happy customers. Also, customers will form relationships with good sales people and will give those they like a first crack at the business. However, your typical marketing weasel does not understand that often it is the strength of the personal relationship with the salesperson that will cement a deal.

    Companies by marketing weasels and bean counters do not value either technical excellence or human relationships. Thus they do not value experience, 'lifers', and grey hairs for their knowledge and relationships. They do not value what only experience can bring; experience which costs money to keep. The diaper brigade may be cheaper but often their inexperience will alienate a customer (unintentionally) because of what they do not know about each account.

    The Minions are doing what a company run by marketing weasels or bean counters does; get rid of the expensive staff (usually illegally) and replace them with cheaper diaper rash sufferers. Then they wonder what happened to their sales. This also points to an internal ethical problem that will scare many potential and current customers away. Repeat business is built on trust and trust implies the customer believes the vendor is overall an ethical organization.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Where there is smoke

      Companies by marketing weasels and bean counters do not value either technical excellence or human relationships. Thus they do not value experience, 'lifers', and grey hairs for their knowledge and relationships.

      And yet, I'd bet that those same companies buy from companies where manglement has a relationship with sales types. But they don't want that in their "house".

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Where there is smoke

      What you describe is right out of MBA texts.

      These wet behind the ears 'diaper brigade' know SFA about the real world and customer relationships.

      Oracle does seem to be kneecapping itself.

      They are not alone in that. IBM is the benchmark that Oracle wants to better.

      I hope these people take Larry and co to the cleaners. Mind you, a few million in damages to him won't make one bit of difference but a precident will have been set.

  5. earl grey
    Mushroom

    If his back isn't to bad

    Maybe he would be satisfied to kick Hurd and the board in the nuts a few times.

  6. Dabbb

    What happened between The Register and Oracle ?

    The level of stalking and attention given to Oracle and lack of attention to every other corporation doing exactly the same is worrying.

    Larry run over editor's dog in his McLaren ?

    Were you not invited to OpenWorld ?

    Anything else to declare ?

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: What happened between The Register and Oracle ?

      The level of stalking and attention given to Oracle and lack of attention to every other corporation doing exactly the same is worrying.

      You must have missed the coverage of IBM then?

      For instance: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/03/27/new_bim_lawsuit/

      or

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/07/03/ibm_langley_age_discrimination/

      No?

      1. Dabbb

        Re: What happened between The Register and Oracle ?

        So you managed to find ONE article about IBM from a year ago while Oracle is on the front page every week ?

        Thanks for proving my point.

        1. BigSLitleP

          Re: What happened between The Register and Oracle ?

          Guessing you are deliberately not paying attention. They've had multiple articles about companies being shitty with their employees recently, including IBM. There are more articles about Oracle being shitty because Oracle is frequently shitty.

          Don't shoot the messenger, sort Oracle's shit out.

        2. Alister Silver badge
    2. TVU

      Re: What happened between The Register and Oracle ?

      "The level of stalking and attention given to Oracle and lack of attention to every other corporation doing exactly the same is worrying"

      To the contrary, Oracle, IBM, Amazon and any other company that treats its staff poorly deserves every bit of criticism in every media outlet (including this one).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What happened between The Register and Oracle ?

      @dabbb are you an oracle employee or beneficiary? TMI!

    4. ST Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: What happened between The Register and Oracle ?

      > [ ... ] attention given to Oracle and lack of attention to every other corporation [ ... ]

      Hi, Larry!

    5. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: What happened between The Register and Oracle ?

      The antics of others are covered as they occur by El Reg. Plenty about Itty Bitty Morons, Leo the Planetary Idiot, and the blunderings of many others. Some are almost regular features as often as they flail about proving their mismanglement would be improved by hiring a few PHBs. And all of them have seem to have common features; they are companies run by the weasels in finance, marketing, and/or hr not by the sales or technical teams. They are not focused on the customer or technical excellence but on penny pinching, moral destruction, and violating labor laws.

  7. TVU

    "Two days later, on March 2, 2018, Murphy was fired due to "an account management issue," which he believes was a pretext to cover up unlawful age and disability discrimination"

    ^ In which case, I hope that all the complainants succeed against Oracle and that they get whacked with a huge financial penalty.

  8. Giovani Tapini

    Article mentions the American justice system

    I don't recognise that, the Americans have a "Legal" system instead. That is a great way of corporates to dodge any actual justice...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once upon a time …

    … I was pretty hot on optimizing Oracle databases and so saving my employer (whom of course Oracle was squeezing until the pips squeaked) from some iniquitous per-core licensing costs. On leaving (not being fired!) I resolved to do my small part, wherever I ended up, in diminishing Oracle's future revenues. I'm sure I'm not alone (am I, Larry?).

    1. Ima Ballsy
      Pint

      Re: Once upon a time …

      Send'em over to Postgres

      BUT watch out for the support companies for Postgres - They have adopted Oracle's pricing methodology !!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Once upon a time …

        The funny thing is, modern devs don’t know and refuse to learn SQL.

        So they write lowest-common-denominator SQL, the simplest possible, really basic stuff... which will run on any database. SELECT * FROM and do all the filtering and sorting in their app.

        Which means you really can rip and replace Oracle with anything else, and the dumb apps will run the same...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Once upon a time …

          Yes, badly on any rdbms...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Experienced hires not wanted

    When I worked there - not in sales - getting reqs for new college grads was pretty easy but getting reqs for people with experience was almost impossible. It wasn't to save money - new PhDs in computer engineering were pretty expensive.

    They've all gone off to greener pastures now, of course.

  11. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    This reflects the modern attitude that assertions out-vote reality.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This does not surprise me

    This is happening more and more. The reality is people are living longer, and able to work later in life, especially in white-collar jobs. I recently read an article which said life expectancy in the U.S. for someone who reaches age 65 is now 83 for males and 85 for females. The Social Security age has been raised to 67, and some have proposed it be raised higher. In other words, people are able to work longer, the government is essentially setting expectations that people work longer, but corporations are intentionally getting rid of older workers.

    The youngest Baby Boomers are now 55. The youngest GenXers are 40. The stock market downturns of 2001 and 2008 hit the 401ks and IRAs of younger Boomers and older GenXers pretty hard. Those younger Boomers are likely to need work into their mid to late 60s. The era of retiring at 55 died with those stock market crashes. GenX may be a smaller cohort, but at 40-55 it is currently in the most important age bracket for middle management. The idea handful of boomers are going to delayer management so much they will manage hundreds of Millennials with no middle management is a fools errand. Perhaps their plan is to promote a bunch of 30-something older Millennials to middle management and lay off the 40-something GenXers. However, that only kicks the can down the road so far.

    Also, this is a rule which does not apply to Oracle's Board of Directors or their senior management. Larry Ellison is 74, and he will never voluntarily leave Oracle.

  13. Bandikoto
    Happy

    Larry Ellison is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

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