ProPublica’s Peter Gosselin and Ariana Tobin, in partnership with Vox’s Ranjani Chakraborty, have won a Gerald Loeb Award in beat reporting for their series investigating age discrimination in the workplace. The project explored, in new detail and specificity, how employers were shedding older workers, as well as the toll these tactics were taking on the lives of those in their 40s, 50s and beyond.
Prompted by information submitted by thousands of people responding to their online callout, Gosselin and Tobin specifically focused on the practices of IBM and found that the company had eliminated more than 20,000 of its American employees, ages 40 and over, in the last five years. Among their key findings: IBM had created a point system that targeted later-career workers for layoffs, even when they had been top performers; it demanded that other longtime employees move to keep their jobs, knowing full well many would quit; and in some cases, workers forced out of full-time permanent positions were brought back as contractors at lower rates of pay. In response to their reporting, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal watchdog that administers and enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination, launched a nationwide investigation of age bias at IBM.
Learn more about the Gerald Loeb Awards here.