In mid-February, alleged ageist emails between executives at IBM were brought to light. Recent reports of alleged age discrimination at IBM have raised the question of whether issues of age discrimination in the workplace are on the rise.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, IBM executives allegedly discussed pushing out older workers to make room for more millennial hires, referred to as “Dinobabies” in the emails. According to the article, IBM officials also were alleged to have complained over email about the company’s older maternal workforce and demanded that it “must change.” Frustrations allegedly were noted regarding IBM’s lower share of millennial workers when compared to a major competitor, with assurances that the ratio would increase following a round of layoffs back in 2020.
In response, an IBM spokesperson released a statement assuring that they’ve never taken part in systemic age discrimination, and that they’ve terminated employees in the past due to “changing business conditions” and not age. However, it’s done little to quell the storm of incoming allegations from IBM employees across the country as the lawsuits continue forward.
The recent allegations against IBM also raise the question of whether ageism is a nationwide employment issue. The Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (AHEA) was enacted over 50 years ago, though recent statistics reported by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) state that of the 67,448 discrimination charges filed by claimants in 2020, 14,183 of those charges were based on claims of age discrimination.
According to Zippia’s numbers, over 50% of coworkers today who witness age discrimination don’t report it – and while issues of age discrimination arguably exist in many industries, the biggest rise in claims have been in the tech industry. Currently, 70% of older individuals working in the tech industry report either facing or witnessing issues of alleged ageism in the workplace.
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Experienced Employment Law Attorney, Mediator, Arbitrator, Investigator, Legal and Media Commentator
Twice-named a U.S. News Best Lawyer in America for employment and labor law, Angela Reddock-Wright is an employment and labor law attorney, mediator, arbitrator, and certified workplace and Title IX investigator (AWI-CH) in Los Angeles, CA. Known as the “Workplace Guru,” Angela is an influencer and leading authority on employment, workplace/HR, Title IX, hazing, and bullying issues. Furthermore, she’s been named a “Top 50 Woman Attorney” in California by Super Lawyers, a “Top California Employment Lawyer” by the Daily Journal and one of Los Angeles’ “Most Influential Minority and Women Attorneys” by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Angela is a regular legal and media commentator and analyst and has appeared on such media outlets as Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Law and Crime with Brian Ross, Court TV, CNN, NewsNation, ABC News, CBS News, Fox 11 News, KTLA-5, the Black News Channel, Fox Soul – The Black Report, NPR, KPCC, Airtalk-89.3, KJLH Front Page with Dominique DiPrima, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Forbes.com, Yahoo! Entertainment, People Magazine, Essence Magazine, the Los Angeles Sentinel, LA Focus, Daily Journal, Our Weekly and the Wave Newspapers.
Angela is a member of the panel of distinguished mediators and arbitrators with Judicate West, a California dispute resolution company. She also owns her own dispute resolution law firm, the Reddock Law Group of Los Angeles, specializing in the mediation, arbitration, and investigation of employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other workplace claims, along with Title IX, sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct conduct cases, along with hazing and bullying cases in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, fraternities and sororities; fire, police and other public safety agencies and departments; and other private and public sector workplaces.
Reddock-Wright has also launched her own radio show, Legal Lens with Angela Reddock-Wright, airing on Tavis Smiley’s new KBLA Talk 1580 radio station on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. PT with replays on subsequent Sundays. Listeners may tune-in by downloading the APP @kbla1580 and call the PowerLines at 1-800-920-1580.
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This communication is not legal advice. It is educational only. For legal advice, consult with an experienced employment law attorney in your state or city.