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Retired Apple software engineer JK Scheinberg couldn't get a job at Genius Bar

The Apple Store declined to hire 54-year-old software engineer JK Scheinberg despite his long and storied career with the company, in what is being seen as an example of age discrimination

Published 06/09/2016

People queue in Belfast for the latest product at the Apple Store
People queue in Belfast for the latest product at the Apple Store

A former Apple software engineer who pioneered a major change to the Mac operating system was turned down for a job at the Genius Bar in one of the tech giant’s retail stores, in what has been touted as an example of age discrimination in the workplace.

JK Scheinberg left Apple in 2008 after 21 years with the firm, during which he reportedly figured out how to run Apple’s Mac OS on his home PC, which was powered by Intel processors.

He then led the company’s secret "Marklar" project to modify all Macs to run on Intel chips.

At 54, and bored with retirement, he decided to apply for a job at an Apple Genius Bar, the in-person customer support locations at Apple’s high street stores, which tend to be staffed by younger people. Sure enough, the other applicants at his group interview were all half his age.

Author Ashton Applewhite wrote about the episode in an article on age discrimination for the New York Times. "I'm lucky enough to get my tech support from JK Scheinberg, the engineer at Apple who led the effort that moved the Mac to Intel processors," Ms Applewhite wrote.

On the way out of his interview, Mr Scheinberg told her, the interviewers singled him out to say they would be in touch. But, he said, "I never heard back." After the piece was published, he tweeted: "Wonder if Apple will finally give me callback on that genius bar interview."

Apple has not yet commented on the case, but describes itself on its website as "an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to inclusion and diversity."

Independent News Service

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