HP Hit with Age-Discrimination Suit Claiming Older Workers Purged

Four former employees of Silicon Valley tech icon Hewlett-Packard have filed an age discrimination lawsuit alleging they were ousted amid a purge of older workers.

Hewlett-Packard began layoffs in 2012, before the company broke into HP Inc. and HP Enterprise last year, and have escalated the layoffs since, eventually hitting tens of thousands of workers.

The goal "was to make the company younger," said the complaint filed Aug. 18 in U.S. District Court in San Jose. "In order to get younger, HP intentionally discriminated against its older employees by targeting them for termination ... and then systematically replacing them with younger employees. HP has hired a disproportionately large number of new employees under the age of 40 to replace employees aged 40 and older who were terminated."

Arun Vatturi, a 15-year Palo Alto employee at HP who was a director in process improvement until he was laid off in January at age 52, and Sidney Staton, in sales at HP in Palo Alto for 16 months until his layoff in April 2015 at age 54, have joined in the lawsuit with a former employee from Washington, removed at age 62, and one from Texas, out at age 63. The group is seeking class-action status for the court action and claims HP broke state and federal laws against age discrimination.

HP in 2012 announced it would cut 27,000 jobs. The company continued to announce layoffs, which to date total more than 80,000.

"Hewlett Packard Enterprise has a long-standing commitment to the principles of equal employment opportunity and age inclusion is no exception," a company spokesman said in a statement. "The decision to implement a workforce reduction is always difficult, but we are confident that our decisions were based on legitimate factors unrelated to age."

HP Inc. did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

The lawsuit alleges...

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