Ikea is well known to consumers in California who need home furnishings. However, a growing list of lawsuits paints a picture of a company that’s hostile to older workers. In a little over 12 months, five employees have filed lawsuits against the company complaining of age discrimination. A statement from the company highlighted its philosophy of inclusion and equality but did not address specific complaints from the plaintiffs.
In early 2018, the first lawsuit appeared when a 54-year-old male employee accused the company of refusing to promote him. His court filings point out that he had good performance reviews. By August 2018, two more lawsuits emerged. One of the female plaintiffs included gender discrimination in her legal complaint. Before the year ended, Ikea had been named in a fourth lawsuit based on age discrimination.
A fifth lawsuit has now been received by the company. The 48-year-old male plaintiff, who had been working as an Active Selling Leader since 2004, believed that he was demoted because of his age. His case highlighted the company’s restructuring plan in the United States that had been initiated in October 2017. Older workers view the restructuring plan as hostile to people above a certain age. They accuse Ikea of adopting a workplace culture that only promotes younger people.
An employer that conceals age discrimination within business practices might frustrate a worker who wants fair treatment. With help from an attorney, however, a worker could file a complaint. Legal counsel may evaluate the person’s employment contract to see if it requires arbitration. Whether a case is arbitrated, negotiated or litigated, an attorney could confront an employer with evidence of unlawful conduct.