What a coinkydink!
Gee I wonder why they did that?! /s
Less than a week after IBM was ordered in an age discrimination lawsuit to produce internal emails in which its former CEO and former SVP of human resources discuss reducing the number of older workers, the IT giant chose to settle the case for an undisclosed sum rather than proceed to trial next month. The order, issued on …
The Warhammer 40K universe was meant to be this dark deeply dystopian place where life is cheap, usually short, and brutal. They do things like sacrifice 1,000 people every day to keep their god from dying completely, and people are literally chained to work areas in giant factories and then if they have kids they are immediately chained in their parent's place when they die as their inheritance. These were meant to be shocking in their brutality, but lately we've actually managed to surpass a lot of them. During the height of the covid pandemic, anti-vaxxers were dying at rates well over 1,000/day and they cheered, and now this makes it seem like we're not 38K years (give or take) away from people being literally chained to a desk and their kids are put to work basically from birth. All so a few elites can live in opulent luxury.
Have you ever seen inside an Amazon warehouse?
Not chained in the literal sense I suppose, but with a system of AI-powered performance monitoring, which also controls the lower and middle management tiers.
"Worker 445621: You seem to have worked yourself half to death. You're fired."
It's pretty clear that a word has been chosen that can be argued to mean something later that is not what we understand it to mean now.
That the mouthpieces confused the two is interesting... which one was the word that Legal told 'em to use?
Given that IBM's
Nazgul legal team are on retainer and it's not as if any potential legal costs would deter them, nothing says "we're guilty as hell and don't want to establish that in a legal precedent" as much as settling pre-trial.
A pint for the plaintiff anyway, even if it's not the definitive spanking for IBM that we'd hoped for.
Agreed. The likely settlement is probably something close to what the litigants expected to get, otherwise they probably wouldn't have accepted. This smells very, very strongly of IBM simply paying to keep the damning evidence under wraps for another few years. I suspect any future cases will be settled in the same way until IBM can legitimately say they deleted those emails as being past the legal age whereby they must be retained.
@Doctor Syntax “The demand for emails is clearly a nuclear option the legal team can do nothing about. IBM could save money by getting rid of the legal team and settling on demand.”
The legal team are not there to save IBM money. They are there to cover the arses of the executive management by hiding the executive management’s wrongdoings. That’s the reason for the NDAs and why they settle the moment they are required to disclose the emails of former CEO Ginny Rometty and former HR SVP Diane Gherson.
Even the shareholder’s see the arse covering. https://www.theregister.com/2022/05/05/ibm_shareholders_nda/
“An NDA That stops you talking about *You* is not OK”
Exactly the scope of what can be covered by an NDA is too wide, almost anything can be included in an NDA. The NDA can include itself, so you can not even disclose its existence. Here is a couple of snippets from one I received a few years back in the UK working for a US multinational (not IBM).
It is a condition of this Agreement that its terms shall remain confidential to the parties. Except as agreed in this Agreement or otherwise required or permitted by law, no statement or comment shall be made by the parties to any third party in relation to the terms or existence of this Agreement, the claims of the Employee settled by its terms and/or the circumstances of the termination of the Employee's employment.
The Employee will not make, publish or cause to be published any disparaging remarks concerning the Company, any Group Company, its or their directors, officers, shareholders, consultants, agents, employees or workers, any product or service being sold, developed or provided by the Company and/or any Group Company.
That is just a small part what I can’t do. There is a part that states when I can disclose, when required by law, reporting a crime, court order and giving evidence.
That's from the UK, no idea how much worse a US NDA would be.
I suspect it's pretty much boilerplate text included in all NDAs - I too have one of those in the filing cabinet somewhere. In my case, they decided it was easier to give me a sum of money and we agree to part ways than for them to address the systemic issues that caused me to be off work for months with stress related ailments.
Mind you, I had to get a number of corrections and changes made before agreeing to it. As it happens, had I not done, I wouldn't have been permitted to go back a few years later and assist with some system migrations they were trying to do with the old systems. As I'm not the sort of person to a) hold a grudge against those not involved, and b) happy to earn a crust; I insisted they add "Unless authorised by the company" in front of "will not access any systems" meaning that they could ask me to go back later - otherwise technically I'd have had to say (to the new management) "sorry, I'm contractually prohibited from helping you out".
Just as the Roe v. Wade poisonous draft revision was released to the media, so should Grandma Ginny's IBM e-mails.
Just as the SCOTUS injustices' homes have been vociferously picketed, so should hers.
Neutered courts let these creeps retire in wealth, privacy, and obscurity, when they deserve society's never-ending scorn.
Doxx, cancel, repeat.
If it was me suing IBM, I know that I'm going to win anyway, they're going to be publically embarrassed (and no doubt open to multiple other lawsuits), I'm anyway going to walk away with a big payday, what does it take to make me settle??
If IBM were offering me about the same as I would win anyway, why settle? They must be offering 10X as much in settlement as they expected to lose in court.
There's always an element of risk in proceeding with litigation. Plus, there's the stress of it all - especially as the opposition will do their utmost to smear your good character etc. etc.
So given that there is a risk that you'll "crap out" from the stress, a risk that you'll have your good character ruined, and a chance that you'll lose and face financial ruin, and while this is all going on you might have no income to live off - there will (almost) always be some level of offer that will be acceptable.
This is typical of organizations which can afford to keep a flying wedge of lawyers on perpetual retainer: If the case goes their way they continue with it so it will become established precedent, i.e. case law, but if it looks as if they'll lose they settle out of court to prevent the loss becoming established case law.
How to prevent this? Record an out-of-court settlement as a loss for the defendant. That would level the playing-field just a bit.
Meanwhile, and yes, I know, I repeat myself, Hell is full and zombies in suits are walking the Earth. How's that working out for us, eh?
The shareholders should call all the victims of these lawsuits in their securities fraud case. They are accusing senior execs of financial engineering, but also cutting employees sales commissions (cheating them out of millions) & laying employees off (it is alleged that some of those laid off had gone to upper mgmt to dispute sales commisions). It's criminal what Rometty, Gherson & their henchmen managers (some of who were just brought in to fire targeted employees; others were brought in to set employees up & then were promoted).
The shifting of money from one biz unit to another, layoffs & non-payment of sales commissions to reward these non-performing C-suite executives was criminal. The shareholders should hear all the victims stories. The world should see first hand how IBM treats its employees & "sets them up," as part of "The Scheme," (termed that in the Kinney, et al lawsuit). They've destroyed people's lives. Yes, the ex-employees will have to sign an NDA but may not have to sign an NDC (non-disparagement clause). I hope someone gets a conscience & leaks the emails. Rometty & Gherson are despicable people.
If, in the US, corporations like IBM are considered people then they should be held to the same standard for criminal liability as we meat bags. Obviously you can't put a fictional entity in jail, but we could say that the corporation is banned from conducting business for however long a meat bag person would be put in jail. Or the entire C-Suite is offered up as collateral and will serve the prison sentence on behalf of the company.
I've read every filing, motion and decision and I have to say that this case is bizarre. I'm not on IBM's side EVER, but Schenfeld does not seem to fit the parameters of age discrimination. He did not meet any criteria but one in filing a state lawsuit in NJ. He was belligerent, nasty and condescending to co-workers; did not perform the work given to him; and when asked to produce a work plan, he provided lists. It's almost like he was begging to be laid off. Every other case, the plaintiffs were set up by upper management and were high performers. I think the mistake this guy made was suing all his superiors. They produced the emails. It shows that IBM will even pay off people who did possibly deserve to be laid off, just to keep Rometty and Gherson's emails from getting out.