Missouri AG Alleges IBM Used Unlawful Quotas in Employment Practices

  • Missouri AG Andrew Bailey has sued International Business Machines Corporation (“IBM”), alleging that the company’s use of racial quotas in hiring and other employment actions violates the Missouri Human Rights Act’s prohibition on discriminatory employment practices.
  • According to the complaint, IBM’s “diversity modifier” policy established employment quotas based on race, color, national origin, sex, or ancestry. Missouri’s complaint alleges that because hiring decisions were made based on this policy, the “diversity modifier” illegally discriminates against members of groups that IBM has found are adequately or overrepresented within the company, among other things.
  • The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief prohibiting IBM from using the “diversity modifier” in hiring or in setting terms and conditions of employment, and other relief as determined by the court.
  • Groups of Democratic and Republican AGs have previously written opposing letters to Fortune 100 companies detailing their respective positions on the legality of workplace diversity practices after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2023 decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, striking down affirmative action programs in higher education.