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Employment Discrimination Case Filed Against IBM After Expose Released

Discrimination

In late March, several former IBM employees filed a lawsuit against the company for employment discrimination; specifically, age discrimination in the workplace. At the time these plaintiffs were terminated from IBM, they were allegedly over the age of 55, and claim, as part of their lawsuit, that they were not provided with the information as required by the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (“the Act”). The workers also claim that they were coerced into signing away their right to bring age discrimination claims to court in exchange for severance packages. 

ProPublica Releases Report Indicating That Company Cut Thousands of Mostly Senior Employees

The lawsuit was filed following an investigative report released by ProPublica alleging that IBM engaged in flagrant employment discrimination practices which led to the termination of nearly 20,000 U.S. employees over the age of 40 over a five-year time span. This represented approximately 60 percent of total U.S. job cuts during those same years. According to the report, the company completely ignored all U.S. laws and regulations that protect workers from age discrimination; practices that included targeting older workers even when they were rated as high performers; and even trying to convert job cuts into retirements in an effort to reduce the total number of layoffs they needed to report under public disclosure laws. IBM also reportedly engaged in a number of other questionable employment practices, such as laying off older workers and then bringing them back as contract workers for lower pay and fewer (or no) benefits. 

Older Workers Benefit Protection

The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (“the Act”) prohibits the involuntary retirement of anyone due to their age. An employee cannot waive their rights unless that waiver is knowing in voluntary, and if a waiver is requested in connection with an exit or other termination program, it is not considered to be involuntary unless that employee is provided with a certain amount of information as to the ages and job titles of those individuals who are deemed eligible for the program. The Act also prohibits paying older workers less than younger workers. 

If You Have Questions or Concerns About Employment Discrimination in Florida, Contact Our Labor & Employment Lawyers

According to experts, if the court finds in favor of the plaintiffs in the case, thousands of additional IBM employees over the age of 40 who were fired over the last six years will likely join in a class action lawsuit for age discrimination.

If you live/work in Florida and suspect that you have been the victim of employment discrimination, contact our Jacksonville labor and employment attorneys at Douglas & Carter, Attorneys at Law today to find out how we can help. Our skilled attorneys have helped hundreds of Floridians who have been subject to age and other employment-related discrimination.

Resources:

eeoc.gov/eeoc/history/35th/thelaw/owbpa.html

features.propublica.org/ibm/ibm-age-discrimination-american-workers/

https://www.douglasandcarter.com/workplace-discrimination-is-still-a-huge-problem-and-rarely-addressed-by-the-government/

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