Workers in California and across the United States are protected from discrimination by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. However, situations arise where certain populations of people are wrongfully terminated due to their age, race, ethnicity or religion.
In a recent lawsuit, IBM was accused of age discrimination and targeting older people to lay off in many instances within the last five years. Statistics show that the company has terminated the employment of more than 20,000 employees over the age of 40 years since 2013.
Evidence supporting the increased firings of older employees is shown as the company once disclosed the ages and positions of the employees who were terminated. After 2014, however, the company ceased to release this information and encouraged older workers who were fired to sign an arbitration agreement before they were able to receive a severance package.
It was also alleged that the company released a document referring to older workers as ‘old heads’ and ‘gray hairs’ and they were to be followed by younger and more innovative generations. The lawsuit was initiated by a 60-year-old IBM employee who held a position as a solution manager in the company. Once he was told he would be laid off, he promptly applied for five other positions within the company. Although he was highly qualified, he did not hear back on any of the applications.
When people are discriminated against because of their age, they may want to consult with an attorney in California regarding their legal rights and options. You may be entitled to compensation for damages and emotional trauma.
Source: USA Today, “IBM sued for age discrimination after thousands of older workers laid off,” Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy, Sept. 18, 2018.