Laid-off workers have filed a class action age discrimination complaint against IBM. The workers claim that IBM has purposefully terminated tens of thousands of “older” workers in a clear effort to “make the face of IBM younger.”
The lawsuit on behalf of the workers is asking that the employees get their jobs back and receive back pay. Three plaintiffs are named in the complaint which is asking for class-action status. The plaintiffs are in their 50s and 60s and they are described as “veteran” IBM employees whose employment was terminated last June. The complaint alleges that there are thousands of other employees who were similarly terminated due to unlawful age discrimination.
The complaint says that IBM is laying off more older workers than younger workers. Also, the complaint says that, when IBM hires for positions, it hires more younger workers than older ones.
IBM has responded to the lawsuit with the following statement from its vice president denying the allegations: “Changes in our workforce are about skills, not age.”
The lawsuit disagrees, saying that IBM has eliminated over 20,000 jobs that belonged to employees who were 40 years of age and older. The complaint also referenced a study by a consulting arm of IBM which referred to older employees as “old heads” and “gray hairs,” and said that younger workers were more receptive to new tech than their older counterparts.
Age discrimination at work is unlawful under federal law. If you believe that you lost your position or suffered any kind of employment-related age discrimination, learn more about the federal employment laws that could be in your favor.