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IBM in the Spotlight Over Alleged Age Discrimination

A former employee has filed an age discrimination lawsuit against IBM. His claim is bolstered by data obtained from a recent article investigating a pattern of age discrimination at the company. Jonathon Langley used to work at IBM’s Hybrid Cloud Unit. After 24 years working for the company, he was laid off. He alleges in his complaint that he had a history of strong job performance reviews and received a bonus shortly before his termination. The lawsuit accuses the tech company of systematically removing older workers from its workforce in order to bring in younger millennials.
Mr. Langley’s claim is bolstered by the recent report from ProPublica and Mother Jones. According to that report, a confidential planning document laid out the company’s intention to “correct” the seniority mix. The goal was to replace the older workers with younger, less-experienced and lower-paid workers. ProPublica estimated that IBM eliminated “more than 20,000 American employees ages 40 and over, about 60 percent of its estimated total U.S. job cuts” during the last five years. It is further written in the report that IBM “flouted” age discrimination laws in order to make those cuts, denying older workers pertinent information essential to checking age bias and altering in-house evaluations to support the layoffs.
IBM has denied any wrongdoing, stating “IBM complies with all applicable laws, and we will defend this case vigorously.” The EEOC has seen an uptick in complaints against IBM and is believed to have begun a nationwide investigation into age bias at the company.