back to article IBM cannot kill this age-discrimination lawsuit linked to CEO

The judge overseeing an age-discrimination case against IBM has denied the IT giant's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, citing evidence supporting plaintiff Eugen Schenfeld's claim that CEO Arvind Krishna, then director of IBM research, made the decision to fire him. In an order issued on Wednesday, Judge Alberto Rivas of the …

  1. elDog

    Seems a coincidence that the terminators have different names than the terminees.

    I'm sure there is absolutely no basis for one group from one area of the planet to have animus against another group from another area.

    No, couldn't happen in our harmonious world where we all BM for the big I.

    1. ZenCoder
      Joke

      Re: Seems a coincidence that the terminators have different names than the terminees.

      Did you miss the part where they "emphatically" denied everything? I mean that's almost as good as a lawyer "categorically" denying everything.

  2. Yes Me Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Semantic alert

    LaMoreaux published a statement claiming "there was (and is) no systemic age discrimination at our company."
    Could the vulture please ask Mr LaMoreaux for the precise definition of "systemic" that he is using? That might help us to fact-check his statement.

    1. Notas Badoff
      Flame

      Re: Semantic alert

      At most, these were individual and unfortunate discharges of firearms, by happenstance across a broad front. There was no war declared against that group. We were... making them independent! Yeah, that's it. Free! We love freedom. It's all good! </sarc>

      1. TimMaher Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Semantic alert

        So that’s why you “freed” Ukraine @Badoff?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Semantic alert

      But that still allows for "systematic" age discrimination

    3. stiine Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Semantic alert

      The vulture should ask for all of the words in that statment to be defined.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Semantic alert

        And the words used in the definitions.

        It's weasels all the way down.

        1. Psmo
          Headmaster

          Re: Semantic alert

          Name checks out.

      2. Jonathon Green

        Re: Semantic alert

        Along with the punctuation marks and spaces in-between the words. I’d probably be looking for a detailed physical and chemical analysis of the paper and ink along with DNA analysis of any traces of organic material while they’re at it because that’s how slippery these creeps are, and that’s how closely they need to be scrutinised…

    4. Steve Aubrey
      Flame

      Re: Semantic alert

      "The cigars were destroyed in a series of small fires"

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Semantic alert

        And the attempt to extinguish them in Champers didn't work either...

    5. GuildenNL

      Re: Semantic alert

      I’m thinking they are only speaking of (or perhaps out of) the lower digestive tract part of the system.

    6. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Semantic alert

      Plaintiff’s mistruths do not change the facts.

      WTF is a "mistruth"? (Don't answer, I can guess.)

      Where do these mealy-mouthed neologisms come from? Cf "misspeak" = to lie.

      1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        Re: Semantic alert

        "Mistakes were made," "Police-involved shooting." That sort of thing.

        1. Kane Silver badge

          Re: Semantic alert

          '"Mistakes were made," "Police-involved shooting." That sort of thing.'

          "It looked like a gun from where I was standing" is another little bastard.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get out while and if you can

    Ageism is a thing.

    They don’t want experience, they want compliance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get out while and if you can

      They want believable deniability most of all. When things go wrong, they can point out the tragic goofs that so-n-so (who hasn't been around long) committed, then fire them. It wasn't management that caused the problem!

      But when people have been around for awhile, inconvenient memories surface. Why would the managers have allowed that same process change again when it didn't work the last time in 2007 either?

      It is only when everyone is ignorant that managers can don the red cape of business genius.

    2. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: Get out while and if you can

      I have been assuming they want cheaper workers.

    3. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Get out while and if you can

      I guess now I'm getting on a bit I'm seeing that age is a forgotten -ism.

      Point to case: there's a poster doing the rounds of The Tube about zero tolerance to abuse on the grounds of race, religion, sex, gender-identity or sexuality.

      So it's a clear no to calling someone a racial, religious, sexual, or gender slur but "geriatric fuckwit", as I heard one abusive asshole shout when they were refused entry at the gate line over an expired travel card, I guess is ok.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Get out while and if you can

        Try being 5'4". Then try calling someone out for whistling "Hi-ho, hi-ho" when you walk into a meeting room. You too can get fobbed off by HR, then nicknamed "Napoleon" for the rest of your time at company-I-refuse-to-name-I-hope-they-go-bust.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Get out while and if you can

          Sounds like shit. I'm not much taller than that myself; seems bizarre and horrible behaviour from a colleague(s) and a despicable lack of understanding and action by HR. Makes me feel glad to have not had to work in such a toxic environment, though I've had a bullying boss before now. My first one, actually, so I had no comparison and just accepted it as "the adult workplace" for years.

        2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

          Re: Get out while and if you can

          "then nicknamed 'Napoleon'"

          Or Putin.

  4. MrBanana Silver badge

    Guilty until proven guilty

    I'm not big a fan of "no smoke without fire", or "throw enough shit at the wall until it sticks" - but seriously? There are just way too many claims. The only IBM way out of this is yet another out of court settlement. But I wonder if one claimant will stand up, decline the cash, and spill the beans.

    1. stiine Silver badge

      Re: Guilty until proven guilty

      Or discover that his/her inoperable late stage 4 cancer means that they can ignore the NDA signed along with the out-of-court settlment.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: Guilty until proven guilty

        since it is the USA, any cancer is inoperable because of the cost...

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Guilty until proven guilty

          They can manage warts.

          1. TimMaher Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Mange warts.

            How do we manage a wart?

            What if you have a team of warts, some older and more experienced than the others? Which ones do you cut off?

            Is it discriminatory to distinguish between a wart and a mole?

            Mine’s the one with skin cream in the pocket.

        2. Martin-73 Silver badge

          Re: Guilty until proven guilty

          downvotes? because a joke was against america? really? The register is a British publication, despite the inexplicable change of domain suffix

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Guilty until proven guilty

            I expect that it's because "medical insurance".

            1. Martin-73 Silver badge

              Re: Guilty until proven guilty

              Indeed could be..... given global events, my 'nationalism' deserved the downvotes tho

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    This has been going on long enough

    I do hope that somebody is not going to agree to settle out of court and get IBM nailed to the wall for once.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: This has been going on long enough

      I expect the big corporation's pockets are deeper than the plaintiffs...

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: This has been going on long enough

        If they waived a large enough chunk of change there will be a settlement. What most plaintiffs want is to made financially whole not necessarily to win a lawsuit. Now these chunks of change will begin to add up and also I suspect a very good lawyer would use the evidence of these settlements a civil suit as an indication of a pattern. Manglement needs settlements to avoid discovery when their hands are dirty.

        1. John Riddoch

          Re: This has been going on long enough

          Pretty much... "Sign here and get a guaranteed payout and go away. Or take it to trial, where our lawyers are better paid and you might get nothing and have to pay our legal fees. Your call...."

          Not hard to see why they might just take the settlement and sign the NDA. There might come a time that someone is willing to take it to court on principal, but it'll take strong principles and dedication to go through it all.

          IBM would, of course, argue that they're just minimising risk and seeking closure to the whole thing and just trying to save their ex-employee from a gruelling court case.

  6. innominatus

    Not new

    Twice I have seen first hand the other approach taken by IBM to edge out long-serving people it didn't like by making their working conditions untenable. Works for individuals but larger cost reductions need a different approach. And ageism may not be the whole story - have older workers potentially accrued higher salaries?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Not new

      >have older workers potentially accrued higher salaries?

      The problem with firing the most senior workers on the highest salaries - it inevitably makes highly salaried senior management nervous

      1. Martin Silver badge

        Re: Not new

        The other problem is that the knowledge goes with them.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Not new

      IMH experience its not salaries that are the problem its knowledge and the power to organise it. Nothing pissed off the power greedy than people who can prove their decisions wrong. Its not about improving the company, its about making life easier for the entitled.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ginni pulling the strings

    You all realise that Ginni is STILL on the payroll of IBM right? So the guilty are all still right there inside the organisation. IBM is corrupt top-down because the true vultures are occupying the high reaches and pecking away at the flesh of all the zombies and would-be-soon zombie corpses.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone here remember Patt.Cronin?

    I still remember all that LEAN BS we were put through. What a waste of time and resources. And when it didn't work (mainly because ir put A LOT of focus/effort on processes but little to nothing on improving the services and customer satisfaction), they blamed the troops as usual, not the process. IBM jumping on the latest buzzword once everyone else has jumped off the ship. It's a classic.

  9. spold Silver badge

    It was (is?) systemic

    ...managers had a quota based on age x salary, and executed :-( every quarter - I was there in this time period and a senior person in the security practice ( I'm over 50) and well paid. Despite that this was a strategic role, (so forget old skills) I saw I had a target on my back and sought out another position and resigned before someone took me out back and put me up against the wall. After I left my manager was. This is mostly about trying to prove it.

  10. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Ah yes, the same IBM for whom Nazi Germany was their biggest client outside of the US during the second world war, and who leased the Nazis punch card machines to they could do their census and round up all the Jewish people.

  11. xyz123 Bronze badge

    "there is no discrimination at IBM and if those [N-words] say there is, thats because all of them are cannibals or paedos or something. PLUS their defence lawyer is aged 50+ and should be in an old folks home, not out here trying to do law with his advanced age and senility" - IBM lawyer if they used IBMs behaviour as a defence.

  12. jezza99

    Retrenching someone who is 60 is the height of cruelty, unless it is for misconduct.

    Realistically he will have very little chance of getting a new job of similar value. An action like this could result in him retiring into poverty rather than having a comfortable retirement.

    We need to demand better of companies!

  13. Julz

    Nothing

    to see here, move on. This has been the modus operandi for most US corporations for decades. Just go over there and join what you though it was shuffling to retirement queue but is actually the much faster moving, cost and corporate competence reduction queue.

  14. chuckamok

    IBM is an easy target, but the worst will never be caught

    Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Hubspot, etc...

    Olders never even had a chance to apply at the big ones. And the rank and file tech employees of such places are looking at Botox as they approach 30.

    https://hbr.org/2016/05/office-expose

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