Ian Clifford, a senior IT worker who has been on sick leave for the past 15 years, has taken legal action against tech giant International Business Machines (IBM) alleging discrimination. Clifford claims that IBM failed to increase his salary inflation taking into account, unlike other regular employees
According to a report by the Telegraph, Clifford, who worked for IBM’s Lotus Development subsidiary before it was acquired by IBM in 2009, went on sick leave in September 2008. He has since been receiving a portion of his salary since then, but he claims that his salary has not been increased in the past 15 years.
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He has filed a lawsuit alleging charges of discrimination against the company. Clifford has accused IBM of disability discrimination by failing to provide him with equal salary raises as to those given to the regular employees. He claims that the company has been neglecting to consider the effects of inflation on his compensation due to his disability.
An employment tribunal judge has dismissed his case, stating that he already receives a substantial benefit.
The dispute traces back to 2000 when Clifford initially joined Lotus Development. In 2008, due to his disability, he applied for sick leave. In 2013, he raised a grievance claim, demanding that he should have received pay raises and holiday pay during his five years on sick leave.
IBM responded to his grievance by enlisting him on the company’s disability plan. He was guaranteed 75 percent of his agreed salary.
Clifford has not been fired from his position and remains an employee with no obligation to work. However, since 2013, his salary has been reduced to £54,028 (around Rs 55 lakh) per year after a 25 percent deduction from his agreed salary of £72,037 (around Rs 74 lakh).
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While Clifford argues that his allotted salary was “not generous enough” and would “wither” over time due to inflation, the employment tribunal judge has ruled in favor of IBM, stating that Clifford already enjoys a substantial benefit through the disability plan.