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Discrimination lawsuit against IBM shows issues in tech industry

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2022 | Employment Law

In North Carolina and throughout the nation, employment discrimination is garnering significant attention. People frequently complain about being denied opportunities because of factors out of their control. Recently that has focused on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin and race. However, other forms of discrimination persist. One that is gaining attention – especially in the tech industry – is age discrimination. If an employee or prospective employee believes he or she has been discriminated against due to age, it is important to know how to address this problem.

Comments and behaviors at IBM spark age discrimination lawsuit

A recent lawsuit against IBM says that there is ample evidence in emails and through statements that the company engaged in age discrimination. In one, an executive used the term “dinobabies” to refer to older workers and expressed the desire to phase them out. A separate email stated that the number of millennial workers was smaller than the workforces of other tech companies and that needed to change. Overall, the objective appears to be to bring in younger workers and retain them even if layoffs were needed.

This is part of an ongoing series of allegations against IBM and other tech companies in which they took advantage of arbitration to circumvent the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). It also faced a lawsuit from a 59-year-old who claimed he was dismissed due to his age. One executive confessed to firing workers because the company wanted to entice younger workers with a new image. The technology sector has long had a poor reputation for its employment practices. Part of that is due to newly created technologies for which older workers would need training when younger workers might not.

Holding companies accountable for age discrimination

Technology firms have been in the spotlight for wrongdoing in the past several years. This includes various forms of harassment, illegal behavior in the workplace and the preference to hire and promote younger people instead of older people regardless of experience, qualifications and credentials. People who are subjected to any form of employment discrimination should assess the situation and decide how to proceed. This can be accomplished with help from experienced professionals who know the signs of discrimination, can gather evidence and assist in moving forward with a claim.