IBM Pulls Job Ad After Age Questions

Essex Junction, Vt. (ap) — IBM has taken down a job posting that raised questions about age discrimination about six weeks after the company laid off 419 employees at its Essex Junction plant.

The advertisement was for entry-level development engineers in Essex Junction and in Albany and Hopewell Junction, N.Y., and required that “all applicants must have graduation dates of January 2010 or later.”

IBM Spokesman Doug Shelton said Friday that the posting would be removed and replaced. “It was a thoughtless mistake,” he said.

An employee group called Alliance@IBM alerted media outlets to the ad on Friday.

The civil rights unit of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office was made aware of the ad.

“You cannot discriminate on the basis of one’s age, that’s just clear,” Attorney General Bill Sorrell said. “Now whether this ad would have the effect of keeping otherwise qualified applicants from applying, or does it reflect some intent to discriminate, that’s unclear from the face of the ad.”

A 50-year-old person could have graduated in January 2000 or later, he said. “What I will say is an ad like this raises question for us. Let’s just say this isn’t the end of it.”