Everywhere you go all over the world, the workplace can be such a competitive area. It is often that people would get discriminated by their age. It is a real thing that is happening worldwide and it is definitely not okay. In fact, the International Business Machines Corp. is currently facing a lawsuit after allegedly age-discriminating not just one but three of their employees, and it is said that they have been doing it for years.
IBM’s Takes On Age-Discrimination Allegations
Shannon Liss-Riordan has been known going up against some of the biggest companies in the world such as Uber, Google, and Amazon, on behalf of both consumers and employees. This time around, she is representing workers from IBM and has filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of three of the employees.
The reason was that of the alleged wrongful termination that the giant tech company did because they thought they were way too old. The lawsuit claims that the said company has actually been doing this for the past couple of years. These employees worked together online in order to share each other’s stories with one another.
According to the spokesperson for IBM, Ed Barbini, their company focuses on the workforce skills and not their age. The statement also claimed that for the past 8 years there has been no difference in the age of their workforce, however, the thing that changed was the skill profile of their employees.
This is said to be one of their main reasons to continue investing on training their employees and making sure that they are competitive and skillful enough to make not just the company, but themselves successful in this growing innovative world.
Despite this statement, the company is still under fire for age-discrimination. That is because last March, ProPublica published a report that revealed IBM breaking the age-discrimination rules. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has also taken a step by consolidating complaints about this but they decided not to make a comment about it.
This is why Liss-Riordan is hoping that more former IBM employees will come out and join her lawsuit against them. She revealed that it is a lot of stake for the company since this is something that should definitely be addressed. More and more people will get affected and they don’t deserve to be treated this way. If ever Liss-Riordan succeeds, this could make IBM pay for hundreds and millions of dollars, and it would also take a major hit on their company’s reputation when it comes on how they treat their employees.
Then again, it turns out that there are thousands of IBM’s former employees who would choose not to participate in this lawsuit, and they all have the same reasons. That would be because they would want their 401(k) for their final year of employment. However, over the past couple of years, IBM has been offering them severance that is just not adequate. Then again, one thing is certain, this claims of age-discrimination alone will definitely affect the company’s image, regardless if they actually win the case or not.
What Is Age-Discrimination
It is a fact that companies would often avoid hiring or letting people stay at their jobs when they are over a certain age. Those people who are over the age of 40, may find it difficult to land a job that they qualify in all because of age discrimination. However, they are all protected because of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. This covers not just the employees but also those who are applying for the job. Even if it is subtly happening, it is actually forbidden in any sort of way.
It is considered to be unlawful, especially when dealing with job assignments, interviews, salaries, promotions, benefits, and most of all, termination. Most people have experienced age-discrimination over the years after being wrongfully terminated for their age. Some of them doesn’t have enough courage, money, or effort to bother suing their employers.
The only time it is appropriate to specify the age is when the employer or the company requires people of a certain age. The reason must be essential for the job itself. Just like in the military, people who are over 40 may not be suitable any longer for recruitment and it is also for the people safety.