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Lawsuit against Yahoo alleges unlawful layoffs, discrimination

Over one-third of the workers at Yahoo have left of their own accord or involuntarily in the last year. The chief executive has come under fire for the poor financial performance of the company, with some calling for a restructuring of the company or the sale of the Internet business.

A lawsuit filed by a former manager could have an effect on what happens. He was fired in November 2014 after he was given a promotion and high ratings on his evaluations. The employee ranking system used at Yahoo is not liked by many employees and managers. According to the plaintiff, the system known as Q.P.R. within the company is used to terminate the employment of hundreds of people in order to reach the financial goals of Yahoo. The plaintiff said that the senior managers at Yahoo manipulate the Q.P.R. system so they can fire employees without cause.


The former manager said that there were 600 people fired when he was, even though California law makes it illegal to lay off over 50 people at a single location in 30 days without advance notice. That is required according to the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. If a court rules that Yahoo violated those laws, the penalties are steep. Yahoo denies thee claims.

The lawsuit says that the manager took a leave of absence in order to study on a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan. The two executives who approved his leave are no longer working at Yahoo. The plaintiff alleges that he was called by his boss’s boss and told that he was being fired for ranking in the bottom 5 percent of the employees.

The plaintiff alleges that he was fired for several reasons that didn’t have anything to do with his job performance. He complained about the Q.P.R. process and reported one employee who tried to bribe him to lower another employee’s ranking. He believes he was discriminated against because he was male, alleging that women were favored in hiring, layoffs and promotions.

There are times when a successful lawsuit is the only means that an person has to receive fair treatment. If you feel you have been subjected to discriminatory action in the workplace, you may want to seek advice from an experienced employment law attorney.

Source: The New York Times, “Yahoo Employee-Ranking System Favored by Marissa Mayer Is Challenged in Court,” Vindu Goel, Feb. 01, 2016