Report: IBM Flouted Age-Discrimination Rules to Target, Lay Off Older Workers

A ProPublica investigation found that tech giant IBM has been flouting federal rules about targeting older employees while conducting mass layoffs in order to hire younger, cheaper workers and to send jobs overseas. Citing internal documents, court records, and interviews with more than 1,000 former employees, the report finds that IBM did not inform older workers of their rights as stipulated under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, hired back older workers after terminating them as contract employees with less pay and fewer benefits, and made laid-off older workers train their replacements. As older employees got laid off, the company also reportedly declined to provide a reason for termination in many instances. The company responded to ProPublica’s request for comment, saying, “We are proud of our company and our employees’ ability to reinvent themselves era after era, while always complying with the law. Our ability to do this is why we are the only tech company that has not only survived but thrived for more than 100 years.”