PALO ALTO (CBS SF) — A lawsuit filed in a San Jose U.S. District court accuses Silicon Valley high-tech giant Hewlett-Packard of purging its older employees “to make the company younger.”

Four former employees from HP filed the age discrimination lawsuit, alleging they were fired and replaced by younger employees.

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In the complaint, filed August 18, the plaintiffs claim “HP has hired a disproportionately large number of new employees under the age of 40 to replace employees aged 40 and older who were terminated.”

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The group ranges from 52- to 63-years of age. They are seeking class-action status and say HP violated state and federal laws.

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act protect workers over 40 from discrimination in the workplace or in hiring practices.

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Since 2012, HP has laid off more than 80,000 employees as part of CEO Meg Whitman’s 5-year plan to restructure the company. The business was split up into two separate companies in 2015 – HP Inc. and HP Enterprise.