The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Confirms a Pattern of Age Discrimination at IBM

erek

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"One of those who may benefit is Ed Miyoshi, who was laid off in December 2016, when he was at 57 and had worked at IBM’s Hopewell Junction, New York, facility for 35 years. He was subsequently brought back as a lower-paid contractor. In response to ProPublica’s 2018 reporting, IBM asserted that cases like Miyoshi’s were one-offs and didn’t represent a company practice.

But the EEOC said that it found evidence of a pattern of older workers who were ousted and “told that their skills were out of date, only to be brought back as contract workers at a lower rate of pay with fewer benefits.

“EEOC received corroborating testimony from dozens of witnesses nationwide supporting a discriminatory animus based on age,” the agency said.

“I can’t say as it comes as a huge shock to me,” Miyoshi said when told of the EEOC findings. He said he worked as an IBM contractor from January 2017 until May of last year, when he was dropped. After a jobless stint, he’s now a census taker and has been certified to trace COVID-19 cases.

“I’m glad somebody’s finally taking a close look” at IBM, he said."


https://www.propublica.org/article/...a-pattern-of-age-discrimination-at-ibm#996449
 
How is it age discrimination if these older workers are more expensive yet less useful because they decided to stop trying to learn?
 
How is it age discrimination if these older workers are more expensive yet less useful because they decided to stop trying to learn?

I think the fact that ibm laid them off then brought them back as lower paid contractors because they had skills that were needed is the point. IBM claimed their skills were out of date and they weren’t needed, but really they just wanted to pay them less.
 
The dark fact is that not all older people will be able to adapt to new paradigms in computing and data usage. Merely being an engineer or corporate office worker isn't enough if the work you do simply doesn't bring profit to the company.

On the other hand, there is also an element of loyalty at hand here. People who have worked at the company for a long time should seen as honored friends, not servants to come and go as the elite of the company desire. Training an obsolete employee to do another job as a true member of the company is just part of honorable business.
 
Training an obsolete employee

but again, the point is that they weren’t obsolete. IBM claimed they were to lay them off, then brought them back on as lower paid contractors.

this would be a much different article if it was just straight layoffs for the reasons stated, and no one was being rehired, but laying someone off and then hiring them back as a lower paid contractor is something done just to improve the bottom line.

did you guys just read up the point in the article where IBM said they had obsolete skill sets and then skip the rest?
 
but again, the point is that they weren’t obsolete. IBM claimed they were to lay them off, then brought them back on as lower paid contractors.

this would be a much different article if it was just straight layoffs for the reasons stated, and no one was being rehired, but laying someone off and then hiring them back as a lower paid contractor is something done just to improve the bottom line.

did you guys just read up the point in the article where IBM said they had obsolete skill sets and then skip the rest?

Yeah, that sort of thing goes beyond typical obsolescence and reaches into malicious behavior.
I'm currently talking more from the perspective of a person who doesn't quite view IBM to be guilty yet.

But it's the sort of thing where if the issue is that it's not mere obsolescence, and it's really just absolute greed and casting fear into the hearts of workers who have to deal with working without any job security, then they must be condemned and castigated.

If it's the latter, and they truly are playing as ruthlessly wicked as they can, then no argument can protect them, and the moment that they are proven guilty, they will be utterly condemned.
 
I think the fact that ibm laid them off then brought them back as lower paid contractors because they had skills that were needed is the point. IBM claimed their skills were out of date and they weren’t needed, but really they just wanted to pay them less.
From Workmen’s Comp., insurance, overtime, Social Security and payroll taxes. Full-time employees are very expensive. That being said, IBM should be made to suffer for this bullshit
 
How is it age discrimination if these older workers are more expensive yet less useful because they decided to stop trying to learn?
That's not typically the issue. Companies like to dangle the carrot over the heads of younger employees that feel insecure and unsure of their own worth, who will work far harder to try and establish a foothold for themselves, with the promise of security once they do.

These new green employees work hard but need guidance so the last crop that went through this and are middle-aged are needed to guide them. Slowly but surely though the carrot trick doesn't work on the veteran troops over the years, and they replace them with fresh cannon fodder, often from overseas who are not only young but also with the promise of a visa in a much more attractive country where they are willing to put up with a lot in order to pop out some anchor babies. The upper brass decision makers though are typically the select few that are immune to this age discrimination and won't outsource their counterparts under the professional courtesy understanding that it would then likely happen to them. Seen it done ad nauseum, laying off older lower and mid-tier workers and replacing them with young people primarily from Asia in China, India, the Philippines, etc.
 
That's not typically the issue. Companies like to dangle the carrot over the heads of younger employees that feel insecure and unsure of their own worth, who will work far harder to try and establish a foothold for themselves, with the promise of security once they do.

These new green employees work hard but need guidance so the last crop that went through this and are middle-aged are needed to guide them. Slowly but surely though the carrot trick doesn't work on the veteran troops over the years, and they replace them with fresh cannon fodder, often from overseas who are not only young but also with the promise of a visa in a much more attractive country where they are willing to put up with a lot in order to pop out some anchor babies. The upper brass decision makers though are typically the select few that are immune to this age discrimination and won't outsource their counterparts under the professional courtesy understanding that it would then likely happen to them. Seen it done ad nauseum, laying off older lower and mid-tier workers and replacing them with young people primarily from Asia in China, India, the Philippines, etc.

Hence why H1B has to be severely curbed and unfortunately even our current President hasn't done enough about it. These companies should be held accountable for these kinds of practices and fined heavily. The ability to be a citizen just for being born in the US should also be removed but that's a discussion for another topic.
 
How is it age discrimination if these older workers are more expensive yet less useful because they decided to stop trying to learn?
The dark fact is that not all older people will be able to adapt to new paradigms in computing and data usage. Merely being an engineer or corporate office worker isn't enough if the work you do simply doesn't bring profit to the company.

I can assure it isn't that at all. It's simply that they don't want to pay, period.

I've worked for ibm twice, once as a contractor for a company contracted by ibm (contracted to the customer), and once directly.

I can tell you it is a shit company.

First time I worked for them, the company ibm was contracted with paid $110 an hour for me. 2 intermediate contracting companies then ibm, all taking a cut. I wasn't making anything close to that. But enough about me, they screw over their customers in every possible way... They bill the customer for 10+ million for whatever services with 0 documentation. Customer refused to pay. Then we get to track our time in 6 minute increments.. . took about 1 hours out of each day to do daily paperwork. Any little thing the customer needed, IBM had to "bid the cost" and then customer had to agree to pay. Move 2 pc's, "well let's give you the bid for that work".. seriously?

In between that first time and the second time, the company I worked for (who I went to work for after leaving IBM the first time) outsourced certain groups to IBM. I wasn't among them, but got to experience what it is like first hand being a "customer" of IBM. The company had many in-house developed applications, now IBM supported them. Any little thing needed? IBM has to bid out what it costs, then, maybe 2 years later the work gets done. One example was a java app that needed updated to work on newer JavaVM, because it required an older version, full of security issues. Took over a year. Another time, the print shop would print a daily, 6000 or so page report that came down direct from the mainframe. One day it starts printing as 6000, 1 page jobs. This was way worse than it might sound. The "duplicator" was a very high speed device, like 20 feet long, designed to spit out pages like 20 per second (something crazy fast). Anyway a 1 page job goes like this: the thing spins up, the clutch kicks in, it spits out 1 page, spins down, spins up, clutch kicks in, spits out page 2... you get the idea. A job that should have finished in 10 to 15 minutes was taking 4 or 5 hours. print shop guys in an absolute panic because their work was backing way the hell up and they were now working 12 hour days. Duplicator was wearing out parts not ever meant to wear out. This device was leased by xerox, and service calls were covered (luckily). The thing breaks down like 3 days into this clusterfuck. Repair team comes out (yeah, multiple guys) and one was like "I've never even seen this part outside of the unit before...". Madness. 3 days later, it breaks down again... So my company goes to IBM, says what is the problem?? IBM says "well, for $60,000 we can give you these other printers, that will not have this issue." Director wasn't having that, said no. Then IBM says "well, for $30,000 we can re-code the application not to do this.." Director said nope... I came up with a solution to print it to file-append with the mainframe emulator software configured as a print destination, found a spare pc to give the printshop, tested and got it working so that the job would spool as a text file to this pc, and once it finished, the print shop guys would send that to the duplicator. It worked. Print shop guys, my new best friends, they couldn't say thank you enough. Saved my company $30,000. I got a nice big raise that year. 6 months later, the app programmer calls me up and says "Hey, I fixed that app, we can start sending this job directly to the duplicator again." I ask what was wrong, he says "I had a typo on one line in the code" This was an IBM programmer, employee contracted to work for my company... and they wanted 30 fucking thousand dollars to fix it?? They fucking broke it in the first place! This company is as corrupt as they come, I can assure you. This is just ONE damn story. I don't feel like typing out any more of them. There are more.

Second time I worked directly for them, our company outsourced to IBM, who hired us. My turn was the second time the company I worked for decided to do this. First time had been 6 years prior (during which the previous story happened), and those guys who rebadged to become IBM got told they would come over at their current salary. So they are like ok that's not so bad, and move over to IBM at their current salaries. 6 months goes by, and IBM says "we can't keep you as salary, for reason X we need to convert you to hourly." But for this conversion, they calculated your hourly wage assuming you worked 45 hours a week with overtime, so it's a week of your salary pay divided by 47.5 to come up with your hourly pay. A few more months go by and they implement "no overtime allowed". This basically turns it into a 12.5% paycut. They find any and every possible way to fuck over their employees.

So now its 6 years later, I get outsourced this time (it was 100% of all IT got outsourced the second time around except for a few directors. less than 10 people out of 3,000+ IT employees). Guess what, everyone knew how IBM screwed the guys over the last time, so almost no one took it. Only 1/8th of the number they wanted to hire moved over, and they only wanted about 30%. Abysmal. Huge cut in staff, fucked over even worse because we knew what we were getting ourselves into. So overloaded with work that projects that might take 2 weeks from the time of the request to completion (including time to order and receive new pc's), now took months. Trouble ticket queue was usually less than 20, often less than 10 pending tickets, now had like 500 tickets... Only stayed about 3 months.
 
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Anybody who has actually worked in the tech sector is shocked! SHOCKED!

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Anybody who says they never saw this when they were in the sector is either oblivious, wilfully ignorant, or absolutely and completely full of shit.

Hell, the best of the best are spat out in their prime if these companies can find anybody, abso-fucking-lutely anybody, who will do a half assed job for less.

Even better if it's a contract with a team that will (almost) do it like it's part time work. After that, they contract the people they tossed out to fix all the fuck ups from the new team every few months.

It doesn't matter if the company is losing money on the deal, so long as the lay offs made the shares go up. If the share holders get a stiffy it's all good.
 
One thing that isn't stated is that for those that are brought back as contractors how many hours do they work then?

This is one of those hard things to side with at times. While it isn't right to fire somebody that makes more just to hire in somebody that makes less, there are going to be times where the older staff become less valuable and their position is no longer needed at full time. So not completely useless but less needed.

Lets say that Bob has worked at Company X for 40 years and has worked on their Product Y for the last 35 years which was their flagship back then. If now only 10 people own that and the other 300 customers owns Product Z with Bob not knowing anything about Product Z it would make sense that Bob's position would no longer need to be a 40 hour a week job. So you can keep Bob on at 40 hours and have him do 10 - 15 hours actually work a week helping the few customers that you have and sit around the rest of the time, or you cut his position to part time and have him work 20 hours a week instead of 40. Then you hire in a cheap person that will just take calls and do some other random task the other 20 hours that Bob isn't there. That doesn't have anything to do with Bob being almost 60 here, that is just that Bob's skill set and knowledge is for an areas that doesn't benefit the company as well was it did in the past since it is a product few use and it is hard to justify keeping them around a full 40 hours at their pay rate when they don't make you the money they did before. In some cases maybe you do get rid of the position and make the person a contracted employee based on how much you need them week by week.

Not saying that happen for sure or not, however just saying the person went from normal full time employee to contractor doesn’t give a full picture of what is going on without knowing if / how the job itself changed with the position category.
 
This is one of those hard things to side with at times. While it isn't right to fire somebody that makes more just to hire in somebody that makes less, there are going to be times where the older staff become less valuable and their position is no longer needed at full time. So not completely useless but less needed.
This is honestly what I was thinking here. There are plenty of things for veteran staff to be doing, like training and mentoring, but if their skillsets just aren't needed, then salaries need to be adjusted.

How IBM did that is what's really up for debate. While I get the legitimate complaints of replacing older, more expensive workers with younger, less expensive or even foreign workers, I also see companies not wanting to keep employees that are both higher paid than average while contributing less.
 
IBM, the company that supported the actual Nazis of Hitler. Not surprised.

But this is seemingly an issue across the board. I remember reading an article about the growing problem with all the new talent unable to produce the quality the old talent was capable of yet due to whatever political correct motivation or another, companies were hemorrhaging old talent. And it is harder for older people to get jobs now. It seems all this AI bullshit your resume goes through is cutting fantastic talent because the AI is flagging things that are total bullshit dis-qualifiers like an age range or even a race. Yes that too. Resume AI is racist and sexist apparently.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/oct/10/amazon-hiring-ai-gender-bias-recruiting-engine

I posted this because it is related to the topic of workplace discrimination. And if evidence uncovers one form of descrimination then there are almost certainly all other forms.
 
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It could be worse read up on IBM's Holocaust history with the Nazis, scary stuff.
 
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