HP Sued For Age Discrimination

Plaintiff Garfield Reddick filed a class-action complaint on Tuesday in the Northern District of Georgia against Hewlett-Packard Company; HP Enterprise Services, LLC; Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Co.; HP, Inc.; and DXC Technology Services, LLC, for age discrimination in employment.

The plaintiff has brought this suit pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). In August, the plaintiff filed a charge against HP with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) “concerning HP’s policy and practice that targeted himself and other employees aged 40 years and older through a pattern and practice of unlawful terminations.” The EEOC confirmed the plaintiff’s right to sue. Specifically, plaintiff Reddick averred that HP “adversely altered the terms and conditions of Plaintiffs’ employment, denied Plaintiffs the opportunities that other employees outside their protected class received, and terminated their employment.” The plaintiff claimed that he was 57 years old at the time HP terminated him.

According to the plaintiff, the defendants, despite being “technically ‘separate’ entities…all utilize the exact same Workforce Reduction Plan (‘WFR’),” which is allegedly “the centerpiece of Defendants’ discriminatory practices.” In particular, plaintiff Reddick asserted that “the policies and practices that governed the rights of the employees were all the same. In other words, all of the entities act in unison and operate, in reality, as a single entity.” Thus, “when one of Defendants’ employees brings an age discrimination claim premised on the WFR, and then settles that claim, he is made to settle with all of Defendants’ entities. Furthermore, the plaintiff contended that HP “favored younger employees over and to the detriment of older employees” and HP “utilized the WFR to enforce [its] policy of disproportionately terminating and not rehiring age-protected workers.” Moreover, the plaintiff claimed HP’s “unwritten policy was so consistently applied that it was understood at HP that if there was another wave of workforce reductions HP would target the age protected employees first.” Accordingly, the complaint noted that HP’s WFR “was a scheme” that would terminate “older, higher paid employees and replace them with younger, lower paid employees.” The complaint stated that while HP claimed its WFR was neutral, according to the plaintiff, HP’s practice “disproportionately targets employees who are 40 years of age or older – a protected class – for termination.” Consequently, the plaintiff contended that HP terminated other older employees including the plaintiff in favor of younger employees.

Reddick stated that he worked for HP for three years before being unlawfully terminated. The plaintiff claimed during his employment he “performed his duties in a satisfactory and competent manner. He consistently received positive performance reviews, salary increases, and bonuses.” However, the plaintiff argued that HP discriminated against him when he was an employee and denied him various opportunities and training offered to younger employees. According to the complaint, “HP denied him career advancement opportunities that were granted to younger[,] less experienced and qualified employees. On multiple occasions, Mr. Reddick requested that HP provide[ ] him with training[ ] on HP’s technologies, including, Virtual Connect, OneView, and GreenLake. HP repeatedly denied Mr. Redick the opportunity to participate in these trainings that would have afforded him better job opportunities at HP. On information and belief, younger employees were provided with these trainings.” Furthermore, Reddick claimed that HP discriminated against him “by denying him promotions in favor of younger employees with less experience and inferior qualifications.” Additionally, despite informing his manager about his interest to be a team lead, he was denied this promotion, although, he claimed that he was already doing some of the tasks performed by the team lead. Instead, the plaintiff contended that HP “repeatedly promoted younger employees to the team lead position.” This happened for other positions that the plaintiff was interested in and/or applied for.

The plaintiff has sought collective and class certification and for the plaintiff and his counsel to represent the class, an award for damages, restitution, an award for costs and fees, pre and post judgment interest, and other relief.

The plaintiff is represented by Hogue & Belong as well as Hill, Kertscher & Wharton, LLP.