EEOC finds pattern of age discrimination at IBM

| Jan 27, 2021 | Firm News |

In the tech world, IBM is a dinosaur. Founded over 100 years ago, the company was a pioneer in early computing systems. However, the personal computer revolution of the 1980s seems to have left the company in the dust. Whether this perception is fair is a matter of debate, but it appears as if the powers that be at IBM are determined to put a more youthful face on the company.

Allegations of age discrimination have dogged IBM for years. Those allegations are given additional weight after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found a pattern of age discrimination at the company between 2013 and 2018.

According to the EEOC investigation, there existed “top-down messaging from [IBM’s] highest ranks directing managers to engage in an aggressive approach to significantly reduce the headcount of older workers to make room” for younger hires. In its analysis of IBM employment data from 2013 to 2018, the EEOC found that more than 85% of the workers targeted for layoffs were older employees.

Additional evidence of possible age discrimination discovered by the EEOC includes situations where employees were let go after being told that their skills were out-of-date. Those employees were subsequently hired as contract workers, a position with a lower rate of pay, and fewer benefits than those afforded to full-time employees.

The law requires the EEOC to try and broker a settlement between IBM and the affected workers. If settlement talks fail, the EEOC can pursue legal action against the company.

Anti-age discrimination laws apply to anyone over the age of 40. Age discrimination cases can be complicated. Often, signs of discrimination are subtle. You should discuss your options with a skilled legal professional if you believe you are the victim of age discrimination in your workplace.