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Report says IBM engaged in age discrimination

California tech workers may be interested to learn about a new report that alleges IBM let go 20,000 employees as part of widespread age discrimination. The report says that IBM decided to switch its focus since it was lagging behind competitors, and as part of that change, it focused on getting more millennials in its workforce.

Discriminating against workers just because they are over the age of 40 is prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. While IBM says it has done nothing wrong, its former employees report various techniques to push them out of the company in favor of younger colleagues. Methods allegedly included requiring older employees to relocate, laying them off or firing them.

Former employees also reported being let go, ostensibly because their skills were out of date, and then rehired at a lower pay rate as contractors. Others said they had to train their replacements from overseas before they left the company. One woman said she was made to choose between being fired or taking retirement.

Workplace discrimination may be difficult to prove in some cases. However, an attorney might have suggestions on how to document discrimination, whether it is based on age, race, sex, religion or another protected characteristic. This type of documentation may help if an employer tries to claim its actions were based on the employee’s performance and not discrimination. The company could have internal processes for reporting and resolving discrimination claims. However, a victim might file a lawsuit if those processes are unsatisfactory.