RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Two IBM employees – age 66 and 62 – who work in human resources have sued the tech giant, alleging age discrimination and an increasing reliance on artificial intelligence to perform some HR tasks.
So reports Bloomberg news, saying the suit was filed earlier this week.
IBM Chair and CEO Arvind Krishna has made no secret of the fact that it is embracing AI and that jobs are likely to be shifted away from humans.
“Rather than laying off its weakest, least experienced or least knowledgeable HR employees, IBM has disproportionately terminated its older employees despite their high levels of performance,” says the complaint.
The two women want a jury trial, according to suit which was filed in federal court for the Southern District of New York.
Khorri Atkinson, Senior Labor & Employment Reporter at Bloomberg, wrote:
“Pamela Wimbish, 62, and Patricia Onken, 66, are the latest to lodge age discrimination allegations against IBM stemming from its alleged push to oust older workers in a series of layoffs while replacing them with younger and ‘less experienced’ workers.”
Wimbish lives in New York. Onken resides in Georgia.
In a statement sent to news site The Register, IBM said it “denies and will vigorously defend itself against each of the allegations in this complaint … Age was not a factor in these employment decisions and discrimination has no place at IBM.”
The complaint cites remarks and actions taken by Krishna:
“In January 2022, in the wake of years of publicly scorned court battles, arbitration proceedings, and costly settlements, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna, announced that he had no more plans to execute major layoffs at the Company.
“However, just one year later, Mr. Krishna has announced that IBM intends to replace thousands of employees with AI technology, particularly in IBM’s human resources (‘HR’) organization.”
IBM operates one of its largest corporate campuses in RTP, owns Raleigh-based Red Hat, and employs thousands of people across North Carolina.