According to a recent ProPublica report, IBM has engaged in widespread age discrimination for several years. Some former employees in California might be among those who the report alleges were pushed out of the company for being too old. IBM allegedly used various methods, including forcing employees to choose between relocating or leaving their jobs.
One employee reported that she was forced to choose between taking early retirement and being fired. Others said they were told their abilities were out of date and let go, only to be brought back in as contractors who were paid less and given fewer benefits.
Age-related employment discrimination against people who are 40 and older is prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. IBM denies practicing any kind of age discrimination. However, the ProPublica report says the company shifted its focus away from its older employees and toward hiring more millennials. As part of this goal, IBM's internal communications allegedly discouraged managers from hiring older employees back. The company also stopped providing information on the ages of people who lost their jobs. Furthermore, IBM changed its severance policy by putting in a requirement that workers resolve any age bias accusations through private arbitration. This is a process that traditionally favors employers.
In addition to age, people are protected against workplace discrimination on the basis of characteristics such as race, religion, sex, gender and more. Furthermore, provisions in California extend beyond federal protections for employees. A person who is dealing with harassment or discrimination at work might want to consult with an attorney.