In March, the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica released an exposé on alleged age discrimination at IBM. In May, a 60-year-old IBM employee from Texas who was laid off last year filed a federal lawsuit accusing the company of targeting older workers for layoffs. Now, three former employees from New York have filed a class action complaining that they, too, were laid off because of their ages, which range from 55 to 67.
After a layoff, one 45-year-old woman pored over online job ads every day searching for something equivalent to what she had been doing before. Strangely, there seemed to be no job openings despite a strong economy. Finally, someone from her old union clued her in on the fact that job recruiters are known to target online ads exclusively to younger people. Someone her age might not be given a chance to see the available opportunities.
A former assistant manager in logistics at Volkswagen AG's Tennessee plant claims he was demoted after the company decided it needed to shed its "old diesel image" and re-brand itself as a "modern, young company focused on productivity, efficiency and technology." That effort involved a company-wide effort to get rid of older workers, he claims in a lawsuit.
If you think you are a victim of age discrimination in the workplace, there are specific steps you need to take to protect your rights.
Age discrimination can take many forms. A company may not hire workers over a certain age, or may not allow older workers into job-training programs. A supervisor may make repeated references to an employee's age with comments such as, "Isn't it time to retire?"