A new filing in the discrimination lawsuit against IBM shows emails that referred to older workers as “dinobabies” in the latest development of the technology firm’s ongoing legal battle.
The emails discussing how to make these workers “an extinct species” were submitted as evidence that IBM was planning to push older employees out to make room for Millennial workers, according to the filing.
This is the latest news in the lawsuit, which began back in 2018 when former IBM employees sued the company after it fired thousands of workers over the age of 40.
“This is what must change,” the email reads according to the filing. “They really don’t understand social or engagement. Not digital natives. A real threat for us.”
Plaintiff Shannon Liss-Riordan wrote that these emails are “highly incriminating” despite spokesperson Chris Mumma claiming that the firm has “never engaged in systemic age discrimination.”
Mumma added that IBM separated workers due to the evolving industry, not because of their age, and that the median age of the company’s workforce in 2020 was 48.
“Some language in emails between former IBM executives that has been reported is not consistent with the respect IBM has for its employees,” IBM said in a statement.
Issues of discrimination in the workplace have gained traction in recent years, with employees feeling more emboldened to speak out when experiencing prejudice.
Diversity, inclusion, and equity has become more of a priority for business leaders and the public as a whole, and lawsuits such as this can have an adverse effect on company morale and customer loyalty.