IBM accused of sacking 100,000 workers to appear ‘cool’ & ‘trendy’

IBM accused of sacking 100,000 workers to appear ‘cool’ & ‘trendy’

IBM accused of sacking 100,000 workers to appear ‘cool’ & ‘trendy’

IBM's firing of older employees has resulted in multiple discrimination lawsuits against the company, including a class-action case in Manhattan and individual civil suits filed in California, Pennsylvania and Texas previous year.

One of the alleged victims of IBM's strategy was Jonathan Langley, who is suing his former company for age discrimination after claiming he was forced out in June 2017. In the last decade, the company has fired thousands of people in the US, Canada and other high-wage jurisdictions in an effort to cut costs and retool its workforce after coming late to the cloud-computing and mobile-tech revolutions.

IBM sent us the following statement: "We have reinvented IBM in the past five years to target higher-value opportunities for our clients".

In fact, by the end of 2018 there had been a 19 per cent decrease in its overall workforce compared with 2013.

This week, Langley filed a response opposing IBM's motion for a summary judgment, asking the court to rule that Langley has no case.

According to Bloomberg, IBM faces several lawsuits accusing it of firing older workers, including a class-action case in Manhattan and individual civil suits filed in California, Pennsylvania and Texas a year ago.

Wild said in his deposition that IBM wanted to demonstrate to millennials that the company wasn't "an old fuddy duddy organisation", and that it hoped to come across as "as [a] cool, trendy organisation" like search giant Google or online retail behemoth Amazon. Wild "stated under oath this is a practice extremely outside of the norm for HR business standards", according to the plaintiff's court documents [PDF] which were filed on Tuesday to oppose IBM's request for a summary judgment. Wild worked at IBM for nearly eight years and left his role last October, according to his LinkedIn page. Several technology companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Facebook also have a lot of young people and millennials working for them.

The layoffs can't be denied, but Constellation Research Inc. analyst Holger Mueller said the accusation that IBM is letting go of older workers to make itself look more appealing to millennials has little credibility. IBM's legal eagles argued "seniority" in this instance refers to staff rank within the organization, and not age.

"A few weeks ago, IBM laid off around 2,000 personnel as they continue to re-align with focus on the higher-value segments of the info-tech market as the company ramps up its recruitment in critical new areas", IBM bared.

"Had Langley been younger, and especially if he had been a millennial, IBM would not have fired him", reads the statement of claim filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas past year.

In a statement, IBM said, "The Company hires 50,000 employees each year, and spends almost a half-billion dollars on training our team". Only the headline has been changed.

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