According to a recent news article from the Silicon Valley Business Journal, a former media executive for tech giant Yahoo has filed an employment lawsuit in federal court claiming that he was wrongfully terminated and discriminated against by the company’s policies put in place by their CEO.
Specifically, this employee claims that after he was employed for three years as an editorial director at the company’s California location, he was wrongfully terminated in 2015. He said his termination was the result of a company-wide employee review policy that was consisted of intentional gender discrimination as well as a desire to save money by reducing the amount of money it spent on employee wages and salaries. After the current CEO was hired, she created a new quarterly review process to evaluate the performance of all key employees and make necessary changes in personnel based upon the result of these reviews. It was after one of the reviews that the employee who filed this was lawsuit was terminated.
It should be noted that the company claims their current CEO has the full support of the corporation and the quarterly review process has not only occurred without discrimination, but has allowed the company to hire employees with a diverse background and has resulted in a better company. The spokeswoman also said she would not comment on the lawsuit itself because of the company’s policy not to comment when there is ongoing litigation. This is a fairly typical response from a company when it is being sued and does not want to respond the actual allegations with a denial since that could be used against them in some cases.
The lawsuit specifically claims that the employer engaged in what our Los Angeles employment discrimination attorneys know as employee stacking. Employee stacking, as we have seen in other companies such as Microsoft and General Electric over the years involves ranking employees on a numerical basis using a formula determined by the company. The practice is not necessary a violation of employment laws, but many consider it very bad business and that is why these companies no longer engage in employee stacking or stacked ranking as it sometimes called. However, if the formula is based upon discrimination than it would be a violation of various state and federal labor laws in some cases. The system often results in employees who are on the bottom of the stack being terminated.
Even where the ranking is not based upon discriminatory employment practices, the reasons that it is disfavored by many in the industry is that it is very bad for morale and that leads to more turnover and decreased production. Companies have also found that millennials feel that a good working environment is more important than past generations and will not seek employment with companies that use this ranking system and that can put companies at a competitive disadvantage. However, some companies such as Amazon feel that the stacked ranking system is good business and continue to employ the technique.
Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 949.375.4734.
Lawsuit alleges Yahoo engaged in discrimination under Mayer’s watch, October 7, 2016, Silicon Valley Business Journal
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