Nancy Kinney, Charles Townsley, Michael Sauro, Walter Noffsinger, Rosa Davidson, Michael Kelly, Tom Kierl, Constance Lewis, Sheri Parr, Paul Pham, Alvaro Paiz, Titon Hoque, Chris Mancuso, Wilbert Talmadge, Thanh Do v. IBM Press Release
[September 21, 2020] AUSTIN, TEXAS – Wright & Greenhill and Kaplan Law Firm recently filed a federal lawsuit against IBM on behalf of fifteen individuals alleging that IBM systematically and illegally fired thousands of its older employees because of their age alone.
Wright & Greenhill previously handled a similar age discrimination lawsuit wherein a federal judge ordered IBM to produce over 150,000 pages of high-level company documents, including communications between its CEO and other top executives. The new lawsuit against IBM also coincides with the EEOC’s groundbreaking, multi-year investigation that stems from ex-IBM employee complaints from across the nation. The EEOC’s investigation ultimately determined that the agency has reasonable cause to believe IBM has been purposefully carrying out the same age discrimination scheme alleged in the lawsuit.
Both the lawsuit and the investigation findings allege that IBM’s highest executives directed the scheme, that IBM instituted company-wide layoffs, and that the layoffs were intentionally designed to terminate older workers. The investigation further revealed that over 85% of the layoff pool were made up of older workers. Many of the plaintiffs within the lawsuit are also complainants in the EEOC’s recent investigation.
Wright & Greenhill president Heidi Coughlin noted: “For decades, IBM cultivated a company culture of taking care of its workers and valuing experience. At some point, IBM clandestinely abandoned that culture and began illegally and arbitrarily terminating those same people. IBM now must be forced to right that wrong.”
Wright & Greenhill attorney Blair Leake added: “It is particularly insidious when companies turn on their older workers, financially devastating them when they are most vulnerable. This forces jettisoned employees to prematurely draw down savings, stripping them of safety nets built up over decades. Many of our clients were inexplicably fired by IBM after receiving highly touted company awards and merit-based bonuses that fly in the face of IBM’s boilerplate excuses for their terminations.”
TBLS Board Certified Labor and Employment lawyer Austin Kaplan noted: “We are proud to represent any ex-IBMer affected by these age discriminatory policies. Employees should be judged by their skill, not their age. I have personally seen the result of IBM’s actions on brilliant people who devoted their lives to the company. Unfortunately, IBM continues the scheme to this very day. My hope is that by filing this lawsuit, IBM realizes it should change course and stop punishing its employees for simply getting older.”
Wright & Greenhill are trial attorneys who handle a broad spectrum of cases and have specific experience litigating against large corporations, including IBM.
Kaplan Law Firm represents employees and individuals with discrimination, whistleblower, retaliation, sexual harassment, severance negotiations, and wrongful termination claims.
View the entire filed Complaint.