"IBM, for its part, believes the waivers are perfectly legal, noting a recent Supreme Court decision (Epic v Lewis) upholding similar arbitration deals.
"Multiple courts, including the US Supreme Court, have rejected the plaintiffs' theories," an IBM spokesman told The Register. "We are confident that our arbitration clauses are legal and appropriate."
This is wrong.
Epic v. Lewis doesn't cover this.
The waivers would be perfectly legal if they included the information that they are required to present to the person being fired.
Without that information, they are not in compliance and thus the waiver is not perfectly legal.
IBM preys on the fact that many of the employees do not have a legal background and can be intimidated by legal bluffs.
For example IBM employees sign an overly broad non-compete which is not enforceable.
They do this with the knowledge that the contract is BS.
FD: I signed one even after talking w HR telling them that the paragraphs in question were unenforceable. He told me to sign it anyways.
There's a separate contract for those who get retention packages or are in specialized fields where you are exposed to IP that IBM wants to retain a competitive advantage.
The bean counters did their homework. They know what the lawsuits will cost and what they are saving by releasing the older workers.
BTW, IIRC, IBM went with their own self-funded Health Insurance plan. So it costs them even more for older workers.