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Trump adviser's legal group hits IBM with federal civil rights complaint over race-based hiring practices
IBM CEO Arvind Krishna. Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Trump adviser's legal group hits IBM with federal civil rights complaint over race-based hiring practices

The federal civil complaint levied by America First Legal comes just weeks after IBM suspended ads on X, claiming it would not tolerate 'discrimination.'

An anti-woke legal group run by former Trump adviser Stephen Miller filed a federal civil rights complaint Tuesday against IBM, noting that there is reason to believe the New York-based tech corporation "knowingly and intentionally violated federal law" by discriminating on the basis of sex and race.

Investigative reporter James O'Keefe shared a video to X Monday wherein IBM CEO Arvind Krishna and other IBM executives can be seen detailing penalties, including termination, for leaders who fail to sufficiently hire on the basis of race and sex.

Miller's group, America First Legal, cited this video in its complaint to the EEOC, indicating that the comments expressed in the video by Krishna and Paul Cormier, chairman of IBM subsidiary Red Hat — and the company's corresponding hiring and procurement practices — contravened Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This complaint comes just weeks after IBM suspended its ads on X on the basis of disputed claims from the leftist activist outfit Media Matters, now being sued for defamation. IBM claimed at the time it "has zero tolerance for hate speech and discrimination."

A policy of discrimination

The video shared by O'Keefe Monday, apparently recorded in 2021 and shared by a company insider, appears to show Krishna and Cormier admitting to denying workers bonuses and canning executives for failing to discriminate against prospective hires.

"I'm very clear about this. I expect at the executive level, so that is not just my directs, but all executives in the company, have to move forward by 1% on both underrepresented minorities," said Krishna. "Let me say it: Asians in the U.S. are not an underrepresented minority in a tech company. However, others are. Ditto on gender diversity."

"So we take underrepresented and gender. You've got to move both forward by a percentage," the IBM chief executive says in the video. "That leads to a plus on your bonus."

"By the way, if you lose, you lose part of your bonus," Krishna continues. "Paul [Cormier is] held to the same standards. Paul and I have been working together to say, 'Okay, how do we apply those deeper into the organization?'"

Later in the video, Krishna can be heard noting the company's preferred racial and sexual demographics.

Cormier said that "multiple leaders over the last year plus that were held accountable to the point that they're no longer here at Red Hat ... because they weren't willing to live up to the [DEI] standards that we set in this space."

The complaint

AFL noted in its letter to EEOC acting Director Timothy Riera, "Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits IBM from discriminating against an employee or an applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin[.] ... However, the evidence is that IBM is knowingly, intentionally, and systematically engaging in such unlawful employment practices."

"Krishna, Cormier, and others in management have embedded immoral and unlawful employment practices into the corporation's culture," the letter alleged.

Extra to referencing the 2021 leaked footage, AFL cited IBM's 2022 ESG report and the company's race-based "Supplier Diversity program" as further evidence of discrimination.

The ESG report detailed the company's "diversity-linked executive compensation" scheme, which links executives' compensation to their ability to hire candidates with preferred immutable characteristics, specifically women, black people, and Hispanics.

The supplier program seeks to prioritize building relationships with "businesses owned and operated by minorities, women, lesbian and gay, veterans, and service disabled veterans, and disabled persons." The company's 2022 ESG report notes that "IBM has committed to dedicating 15% of our first-tier supplier diversity spending to Black-owned businesses by 2025."

AFL requested the EEOC use its discretionary powers to file a "commissioner charge" against IBM and its subsidiary Red Hat.

AFL also penned a letter Tuesday to Krishna, highlighting IBM's alleged unlawful employment practices, unlawful contracting practices, and waste and breach of fiduciary duty.

Gene Hamilton, AFL vice president and general counsel, said in a statement, "Apparently, based on the video and the publicly available material on its website, the senior leadership at IBM is wholly committed to discriminating against Americans as a matter of formal corporate policy. This cannot stand."

Bloomberg Law, which indicated AFL may be setting the groundwork for the legal work of a second Trump administration with this and other initiatives, noted that IBM hadn't responded to a request for comment.

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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