Workers in California and around the country who are 40 or older are protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. However, a report from ProPublica and Mother Jones suggests that IBM has taken many different steps to reduce the number of workers it has in that age range. This has been done by asking some to retire early or to move thousands of miles to keep their jobs.
In the past, IBM was known as a company that would reward workers for their loyalty, but a shift reportedly began taking place in 2014. This was when the organization decided to change its focus to providing cloud storage and data analytics. Instead of older workers, the company decided that it wanted millennials to make up a larger portion of its workforce. According to ProPublica, IBM got rid of 20,000 workers who were 40 or older in the past five years.
That is roughly 60 percent of its workforce within the United States. In some cases, workers were required to train their replacements before leaving the company. Those who were hired back were labeled as contractors who received less pay and fewer if any benefits. Although workers are protected by the act, IBM made employees go through arbitration to settle age discrimination claims as that was deemed more favorable to the business.
Those who believe that they have faced age discrimination in the workplace may wish to take legal action. If a claim is successful, it may be possible to obtain compensation in the form of back pay or punitive damages. Individuals who were terminated illegally may be entitled to their jobs back in addition to compensation. An attorney may be able to review the case to determine if a company's actions violated the law.