Apple senior manager in his 60s blames ageism for not receiving merit bonus

A senior manager at Apple this week sued the company claiming that he was denied a retention bonus of at least $800,000 because at age 64 he was no longer seen “as part of Apple’s future.”

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Joel Rosenblatt for Bloomberg News:

Donald Shruhan Jr., who has worked for Apple since 2008 and is now 67, alleges in a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in San Jose, California, that he wasn’t awarded restricted stock units or a merit increase in 2019 even though he was given an excellent performance review. Shruhan claims he was asked last year to submit his plan for retirement, although he hadn’t indicated any such intention.

“This was an age-based assumption on the decision-maker’s part, with no basis in fact,” he argues. At the same time, Apple aimed to demote him, according to the complaint.

Shruhan is a director in Apple’s Intellectual Property Enforcement unit, where he has managed efforts to combat counterfeiting in the Asia-Pacific region, and has also served as a veteran senior manager on Apple’s global security team, he said.

In the two preceding years after Shruhan earned excellent reviews, he was granted restricted stock units valued at $850,000 and $800,000, he claims. For 2019, Apple said he wouldn’t get his RSUs because they’re meant to be “an investment in the future and a retention hook,” according to his lawsuit.

MacDailyNews Note: The case is Shruhan v. Apple, 22-cv-05481, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

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  1. Proving age discrimination is tough. If Apple gives any other “older” workers bonuses, his case may be moot. If Apple is indeed discriminating on the basis of age (say, no one over 63 gets a bonus), they may be get nailed.

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