IBM employees charge age discrimination in layoffs

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(Host) Several present and former IBM employees claim that older workers were unfairly discriminated against during the company’s recent round of layoffs.

James Leas of South Burlington, has worked for IBM for 20 years. He says an analysis of data provided by IBM clearly shows a pattern of age discrimination.

(Leas) “The problem is that IBM not only laid people off with a greater chance based on age, but they also hid it in 50 pages of numbers, where nobody could find it.”

(Host) Jeff Couture is an IBM spokesman. He says the allegations are an attempt to spur employee interest in a union.

(Couture) “This seems to be the latest in a number of various allegations Mr. Leas has made about IBM. It appears he has manipulated the data to draw his own conclusion, one that would imply that there was discrimination. We do not discriminate, and did not discriminate, certainly not in a purposeful manner as he said was happening in this case.”

(Host) Leas, along with several other former IBM employees, set up an information post Monday outside of the personnel agency hired by IBM to help transition laid-off employees. Leas hopes that if enough former employees contact the Attorney General’s Office, an official investigation could be opened.

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