IBM prepares to settle more age discrimination lawsuits • The Register

IBM is preparing to settle even more age discrimination and wage-stealing complaints against the IT giant, although in a case where it has already done so, Big Blue is accused of breaching the terms of its settlement agreement.

Back in 2018, IBM was in the headlines, accused of deliberately trying to ditch older workers and replacing them with younger millennials. Two years later, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) closed. [PDF] that IBM’s defense of its decisions – which was only a coincidence when its layoffs appeared to target primarily those over 40 – “does not stand up to scrutiny” and that “there is reasonable grounds to believe.” [IBM] has discriminated against [employees] by age.”

Numerous age discrimination lawsuits followed, as well as lawsuits alleging that the mainframe giant limited or withheld sales commissions, sometimes in connection with race, gender, or age discrimination. However, IBM has consistently denied involvement in systematic ageism, Chief Human Resources Officer Nickle LaMoreaux said in February.

At the same time, Big Blue has settled many of these cases, such as B. Lohnn v. IBM, Langley v. IBM, Schenfeld v. IBM, Iacano v. IBM [PDF]Keebaugh vs. IBM [PDF]and Van De Weghe vs. IBM [PDF].

Then there’s Kingston v. IBM, a case that took it to court and resulted in a $11.1 million judgment against the company, plus nearly $3 million in attorneys’ fees and other damages for racial discrimination and wage theft. The jury award of $6 million in non-economic damages was later vacated on appeal, although plaintiff’s legal team is seeking to reinstate that portion of the award.

Now more of those lawsuits have been stayed to allow settlements to be worked out. Last month in Wagner vs. IBM [PDF]an age discrimination lawsuit, attorneys for the plaintiffs and IBM petitioned the judge to stay the proceedings [PDF] because “the parties have reached an interim solution in this matter…” They intend to notify the court by November 8, 2022 whether they have mutually agreed to termination.

A similar letter [PDF] was presented to the judge in Rusis v. IBM submitted another age discrimination case. Again, the parties intend to notify the court by November 8, 2022 as to whether they have reached an agreement or wish to continue the litigation.

In August, the attorneys in Comin v. IBM involved [PDF]one of at least 29 such lawsuits alleging the tech titan withheld promised sales commissions, the judge requested in a joint motion [PDF] provisionally approve a proposed class action settlement.

The proposed settlement would pay class members – IBM California sales representatives who work on a commission plan between November 4, 2015 and the settlement date – $300 even if their commissions were never capped. Those whose commissions were capped would receive approximately half of their disputed commission from the remaining balance of a $4,750,000 fund after the distribution of $300 payments, a penalty payment and two $10,000 payments to the two named plaintiffs. The proposed settlement also provides that IBM will pay attorneys’ fees of no more than approximately $1,600,000.

A similar age discrimination case involving an IBM sales representative, Leong v. IBM [PDF]was rejected [PDF] in July when the parties agreed to settle the case. A settlement appears to have been agreed but not honored: On Monday, plaintiff’s attorneys asked the judge in charge of the case to “enter an order compelling compliance by IBM with the obligations under the terms of the parties’ settlement and award plaintiffs.” [redacted] Attorneys’ Fees and Costs as Sanction for Breach of Settlement Terms.” ® IBM prepares to settle more age discrimination lawsuits • The Register

Rick Schindler

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