Fired Yahoo! employee files lawsuit claiming manipulation, gender bias

By Doug G. Ware   |   Feb. 2, 2016 at 3:31 PM
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SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 2 (UPI) -- A former Yahoo! employee has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the Internet giant, claiming the California-based company had an atmosphere of gender bias and a manipulated employee-rating system that worked against him.

Gregory Anderson was terminated from the company in November 2014. In the lawsuit, he said he was notified that he rated in the bottom 5 percent of employees based on the quarterly rating system and would be released.

However, Anderson, an editorial member responsible for multiple Yahoo! sites, claims he received a promotion, a pay raise and praise for his work while at the company, where he worked for about four years.

Anderson also says in the suit that an atmosphere of gender bias exists at Yahoo that favors women.

The lawsuit alleges that Yahoo! acted illegally when it terminated Anderson -- because, among other things, it didn't comply with federal and state WARN laws, which require employers to notify employees of mass layoffs.

The suit says about 600 other Yahoo! employees were terminated around the same time because they also ranked in the company's bottom 5 percent, based on the quarterly rating system.

Further, Anderson claims in the suit that Yahoo! failed to provide copies of the negative peer reviews or other metrics from the rating system the company said it based his termination on.

"The [quarterly performance review] process was opaque and the employees did not know who was making the final decisions, what numbers were being assigned by whom along the way, or why those numbers were being changed," the lawsuit said. "This manipulation of the QPR process permitted employment decisions, including terminations, to be made on the basis of personal biases and stereotyping."

Anderson also claims in the lawsuit that company policy made him ineligible for performance review because he was on approved leave at the time he was terminated.

Yahoo! did not immediately respond to the lawsuit, which was filed Monday in San Jose.

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