by Connor D. Wolf
Yahoo! top level managers allegedly used an employment review process to discriminate against male workers during an extensive restructuring process, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.
Company President Marissa Mayer implemented the review not long after being appointed in 2012. Gregory Anderson claims managers used the review to discriminate against male employees. He was fired from the media division of the company in 2014. Chief Marketing Officer Kathy Savitt allegedly gave females unfair preference resulting in hundreds of male workers being terminated.
“[He] alleges that Savitt has publicly expressed support for increasing the number of women in media and has intentionally hired and promoted women because of their gender, while terminating, demoting or laying off male employees,” the lawsuit, which was obtained by The New York Times, stated. “Females with the same Employee Score as male employees were treated better.”
Mayer oversaw much of the restructuring process with the aim of reversing problems the company has faced financially. Her employee review system, the lawsuit claims, opened the door to the discriminate practices. The Quarterly Performance Reviews (QPR) had managers grant employees scores based on their performance relative to their immediate peers.
“The Employee Scores input by managers were modified up or down by higher-level management,” the lawsuit continued. “Management personnel adjusting the numbers during Calibration were not required to report why they made the modifications and there was no oversight or accounting whatsoever.”
Depending on the score an employee could face immediate termination. The media division went from 20 to 80 percent female in just three years under the restructuring and review process. The U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed gender discrimination in the workplace. Yahoo! countered the claim by noting fairness is a primary goal of the review process.
“Fairness is a guiding principle of our annual review and reward process,” a company representative told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Our performance review process was developed to allow employees at all levels of the company to receive meaningful, regular, and actionable feedback from others.”
Those female workers who were terminated were allegedly given time to find a job or the opportunity to resign while male employees did not have that benefit. The lawsuit notes this caused long-term damage for male employees since it is generally more difficult to find a job after being fired.
“Female employees in management positions were allowed to leave voluntarily rather than being fired,” the lawsuit added. “Termination has a detrimental effect on subsequent employment opportunities that is not present when an employee resigns, or is given time to find a new position.”