Missouri AG files lawsuit against IBM for discriminatory practices

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Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has filed a lawsuit against International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), alleging violations of the Missouri Human Rights Act. The lawsuit claims IBM subjects job applicants to unlawful racial and gender quotas and bases current employees’ pay and employment statuses on their participation in these practices.

Attorney General Bailey stated, “It has come to my attention that IBM has adopted an unlawful policy that blatantly favors applicants of certain skin color over others and that managers within the company who refuse to comply with said policy face adverse action, including and up to, termination. Discrimination in the workplace violates both state and federal law, which is why I am filing this lawsuit. Missourians deserve answers as to why one of the largest technology and consulting companies in the world, with offices based in Missouri, is discriminating against both prospective and current employees. As long as I’m Attorney General, discrimination will be dead on arrival in this state.”

The lawsuit asserts that IBM uses a “diversity modifier” when making employment decisions, requiring the company to meet certain annual hiring quotas based on race, color, national origin, sex, or ancestry. These quotas allegedly violate the Missouri Human Rights Act, which protects job applicants and employees from discriminatory practices.

General Bailey further states in the lawsuit, “It is an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his or her compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, national origin, sex, or ancestry.”

The lawsuit outlines eight specific violations:

  1. Actual or Attempted Inciting, Compelling, or Coercing Unlawful Discriminatory Practices
  2. Actual or Attempted Aiding or Abetting Unlawful Discriminatory Practices
  3. Unlawfully Limiting, Segregating, or Classifying Employment Applicants
  4. Unlawful Printing or Circulation
  5. Unlawful Employment Inquiry
  6. Unlawful Employment Application Form
  7. Unlawfully Failing or Refusing to Hire Individuals
  8. Retaliation or Discrimination for Opposing IBM’s Unlawful Discriminatory Practices

Attorney General Bailey seeks an injunction to halt IBM’s alleged discriminatory behavior.

The full lawsuit can be read here.

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