In a new lawsuit, former workers say Big Blue targeted their gray hair
Edvin Rusis spent more than 15 years at IBM before the head-choppers found him. During that time, the technical specialist had seen lots of co- workers disappear in one restructuring or another, but his work training sales reps for field duty always seemed to be in high demand. So when Rusis was told in March that, despite years of solid performance reviews, he had three months left at the company, he was expecting at least a spiel about some changes in priorities or shifting personnel overseas. Instead, his managers, at best, alluded vaguely to his skills being out of date, even though he’d kept up to date on his training. Oh, and by the way, he could either give up his right to contest his firing in court in exchange for one month’s severance pay, or get no severance at all. “I was pretty bitterly shocked,” says Rusis. He concluded that the company’s real problem was that he was 59.
On Sept. 17, Rusis and two similarly fired colleagues sued International Business Machines Corp. for age discrimination in federal court in Manhattan. “Over the last several years, IBM has been in the process of systematically laying off older employees in order to build a younger workforce,” the suit claims. Their attorney, Shannon Liss-Riordan, is seeking class-action status.
IBM says its managers are emphasizing different needs to make the company more competitive and that its U.S. workforce isn’t getting any younger. “Changes in our workforce are about skills, not age,” spokesman Ed Barbini said in an emailed statement. The company’s priorities have certainly shifted since Rusis was brought in with the $2.1 billion acquisition in 2003 of Rational Software Corp., where he worked. IBM missed the rise of mobile devices and has struggled to differentiate itself from the leaders in cloud computing, which has eaten into its old-line hardware and consulting businesses.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
The Fed's Mind Control
The idea that monetary policy shapes inflation expectations is about to get road-tested
With spectacular beaches, top-tier resorts, and a stellar Covid record, Anguilla is growing even more irresistible.
Same City - Different Games
What’s changed since Beijing last held the Olympics? Almost everything
Keeping Covid Out of The Cabin
As the pandemic enters Year 3, airlines are stepping up their hygiene routines
Boxed In on China
Biden’s inability to extract concessions from Beijing is a liability going into November’s midterms
Revisit Your Retirement Strategy
High valuations, rising interest rates, and spiking inflation make it time for a checkup
Ponzi schemer On the Pacific
Gina Champion-Cain was a beloved friend, mentor, and pillar of the San Diego business community. But her successful image and lavish lifestyle were fueled by a $400 million fraud
How Did Blake Hall Get Between You And Your Identity?
During the pandemic his online-authentication company, ID.me, became the government’s digital gatekeeper. And its grip is only getting tighter
Biden's Year 2 Test
As the pandemic wears on and prices rise, many Americans are disillusioned with the president. Can he win them back?
A FIGHT OVER DISCRIMINATION IN THE AGE OF ALGORITHMS
Redfin has staked its reputation on making a racist industry more equitable. Critics say it’s been denying services to Black homebuyers and sellers
QUANTUM COMPUTERS ARE HERE... AND HERE...
The first quantum computers are being delivered to researchers and supercomputing centers. What will we do with them? Ian Evenden finds out.
AMAZON TO EXTEND PAUSE ON POLICE USE OF FACIAL RECOGNITION
Amazon said that it will extend its ban on police use of its face-recognition technology beyond the one-year pause it announced last year.
A POTTED HISTORY OF LINUX
Or how a 21-year-old’s bedroom coding project took over the world and a few other things along the way.
Happy Hacking Pro Hybrid Type-S Keyboard
$337 for this beauty, but why?
PHISHING PLOY TARGETS COVID-19 VACCINE DISTRIBUTION EFFORT
IBM security researchers say they have detected a cyber espionage effort using targeted phishing emails to try to collect vital information on the World Health Organization’s initiative for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to developing countries.
IS QUANTUM COMPUTING A BUBBLE READY TO BURST?
Not only can quantum physics speed up computing, but it could also redefine how computers communicate and ensure that no one could ever hack them. That’s partly why the pace of quantum innovations has achieved a new urgency. But many experts can’t see the finish line, let alone know when we’ll get there.
IBM TO SPIN OFF $19B BUSINESS TO FOCUS ON CLOUD COMPUTING
IBM says it is breaking off a $19 billion chunk of its business to focus on cloud computing.
WEATHER CHANNEL APP TO CHANGE PRACTICES AFTER LA LAWSUIT
The operator of The Weather Channel mobile app has agreed to change how it informs users about its location-tracking practices and sale of personal data as part of a settlement with the Los Angeles city attorney’s office, officials.
Computer Scientist, artist, and founder, Algorithmic Justice League
REMOTE WORK WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AND THAT'S A GOOD THING
The home office you’ve occupied for months could be the wave of the future.