IBM is a tech giant, but if an age discrimination lawsuit the company is facing is anything to go by, administrators felt the company isn’t as cool as Google or Amazon and resorted to firing older workers.
The company is facing a class-action lawsuit over this issue in Manhattan and civil suits in California, Pennsylvania and Texas, one of which was filed by IBM’s former VP of Human Resources. He claims that the company laid off 50 000 – 100 000 employes “in just the last several years”. He says the company was facing recruitment problems and attempted to show Millenials that they were a “cool” and “trendy” organisation like Google and Amazon by laying off older staffers in the workforce.
The class-action lawsuit filed against the company claims that IBM began the “purge” of older workers in 2014.
IBM’s statement on the issue has been to state that they hire a considerable number of employees each year, without necessarily commenting on the age discrimination issue:
We have reinvented IBM in the past five years to target higher value opportunities for our clients. The company hires 50 000 employees each year.IBM
Whilst it might be true that IBM is firing older staff, the unfortunate truth could be that most of the older staff at the company were just out of touch. The company has seen shrinking revenue for 7 straight years and hasn’t exactly been at the cutting edge of innovation for the last decade.
In the midst of such a decline, it might not be entirely unreasonable for the company to change its hiring strategy to get younger, more innovative people in its workforce.