IBM workers claim wrongful termination due to age

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2022 | Employment Law |

Residents of Washington have a right to be treated equally to their employees regardless of their age. However, some companies resort to age discrimination even though it’s illegal. IBM is one such company that faces a lawsuit.

What is the lawsuit about?

An age discrimination lawsuit was filed against IBM by the wife of a longtime employee who committed suicide after being laid off. Evidence presented in the case includes communications between executives of the company and the use of the term “dinobabies” to describe older workers 40 and over. The communication includes mentions of plans to push out older employees in favor of those much younger. It further uses an analogy that they wanted to make the “dinobabies” extinct.

A judge decided that other former employees of IBM who have faced age discrimination could join the complaint as a class-action lawsuit. Hundreds of former employees have since joined.

After the claim was filed with the court, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC sent a letter to IBM. It stated that it was determined that around 86% of employees that the company had laid off were older, which showed that the company sought to eliminate older workers while building a younger workforce.

How does the IBM lawsuit reflect the workforce?

The issue at IBM signifies a broader issue in the information technology industry. Although the median age of IBM staff is 48, many of the companies in the IT industry have a younger average age for their employees. This is widely due to the profession being viewed as one for younger people.

There is a misconception within the tech industry that older people are unwilling or unable to learn the newest technologies. This shows that age discrimination regularly occurs within the industry in many companies. There is a belief that younger men under the age of 30 are the best at their jobs in the tech industry. Typically, older employees such as those who faced age discrimination at IBM are viewed as being easily distracted due to other factors in their lives such as their children.

If you have been a victim of age discrimination at work, you need to fight back and report it to hold your employer accountable.