New Jersey residents may know that terminating a worker solely due to age can be a violation of existing employment law. However, a 57-year-old woman who worked for IBM claimed that she was terminated to create openings for younger workers. According to her lawsuit, the woman claims that the company has routinely gotten rid of older workers while keeping younger ones employed. The plaintiff was terminated by the company in 2016.
The woman started with the company in 1984 and was employed as a sales representative when she was released by IBM. She claims that the company's CEO conducts a reorganization twice a year and that the goal is to create a workforce that is 75 percent millennial. According to data from ProPublica, IBM has shed 20,000 workers age 40 or older in the last five years.
According to the women's complaint, she was recognized by the company on Aug. 30, 2016, for an idea that led to a patent application. However, the company terminated her the next day claiming that her skill level was among the lowest in the organization. The former employee claims that she was never told who she was compared to or what the rating criteria was. In 2017, an age discrimination charge was filed with the EEOC.
Individuals who are terminated, demoted or otherwise treated differently because of their age may wish to take legal action. It is generally against the law to discriminate against a worker based on their age. An attorney may be able to review a case to determine if an employee made hiring or other employment decisions primarily because of a worker's age. Evidence such as manager statements or email chains could be used to help a worker prove their assertion.