Wednesday morning a group of four former IBM employees, three of whom worked at the IBM facility in Boulder, filed a lawsuit against the tech giant for violating federal laws prohibiting age discrimination in the workplace.
The ex-employees who filed the suit, Steven Estle of Lafayette; Margaret Ahlders of Loveland; Cheryl Witmer of Firestone; and Lance Salonia of Washington, D.C., were suddenly terminated by IBM in 2016. At the time of their termination, the four all were older than 55 and they said they were not provided with the age-specific comparator information required by the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act.
Without being able to see that only older workers were being laid off, the plaintiffs argue that they were coerced into signing severance packages that released their rights to collectively bring age discrimination claims before a court.
The lawsuit comes after an investigative report by ProPublica alleged IBM flouted employment discrimination laws in terminating nearly 20,000 American employees over the age of 40 over a five-year period.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers, Michael Eisenkraft and Joseph M. Sellers of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, and Jeffrey Neil Young and David Webbert of Johnson, Webbert and Young, LLP assert that because the ex-employees were not provided with information about others being laid off, the release of their rights within the agreements are null and void.
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