Discrimination Compliance Benefits
Sharp increases in class action suits, settlement payments and
jury awards are affecting every type of business today. Our work
with The Corporate Genome SM TM has been aimed primarily at
changing the attitudes of people and getting at the root cause of
discrimination, which is lack of appropriate education. We also see
The Corporate Genome SM TM course as a tool that can be used
to proactively position your company to successfully defend itself
against diversity related lawsuits.
Legal departments are interested in this course for two reasons:
1) Its content is hard hitting but constructively positive in its approach
to corporate race, gender, age relations, etc. It teaches people in a
one-on-one setting and its highly interactive design is very effective in
changing the way people view their work environment.
2) The program does an excellent job of documenting who has taken
the course. It generates files showing completion dates and test scores
to show that the company has been proactive in educating its workforce
on diversity issues.
We have included the following links that will inform about some of
the litigation facing corporations today. Contact CDAWN Learning to find
out how the Corporate Genome course can help you satisfy compliance
mandates within your organization concerning discrimination issues.
A Toyota Motor Corp. unit settled a lawsuit over a $1 million fee dispute
with an Alabama firm that provided diversity consulting after the
Rev. Jesse Jackson threatened a national boycott of the carmaker, a
lawyer representing the firm said Thursday.
"I think smaller employers -- probably in that 15 to 40 or 50 range --
sometimes are more vulnerable to claims, simply because they haven't
taken some of the proactive steps and preventive steps that they could
have put in place that might have shielded them better from potential
claims," he said.
CHICAGO -- The Boeing Co. was sued in three states Wednesday by female
employees who claim the company denied them pay, promotions and other
workplace benefits based on their gender.
The Dial lawsuit is the most high-profile result of the continuing flow of
sexual harassment claims filed each year with the EEOC. Seven years after
the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas allegations placed the issue on the nation's
front pages, nearly 16,000 sexual harassment complaints were filed at the
agency in 2000, up slightly from the year before. The numbers have been
roughly constant for the past six years.
Now Martinez is one of more than 100 women prepared to testify of a
years-long pattern of sexual harassment in a sweeping lawsuit the U.S.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed in 1999 against Dial Corp.
The EEOC is calling the case the largest since its landmark lawsuit against
Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America Inc., which involved hundreds of
women at a Normal, Ill., automotive plant. It resulted in legal settlements
for female workers totaling more than $44 million.
The United States' lawsuit-crazy civil justice system seems bent on wrecking
our economy through excessive litigation and burdening the court system
with thousands of frivolous lawsuits. The cost of the US civil justice system
is growing at four times the rate of our economy. The impact of this runaway
system can be measured in businesses bankrupt, jobs lost, and shareholder
value destroyed. Consider these statistics:
In 1997 alone, there were over 15 million lawsuits filed in state courtsone
every two seconds.
Federal class action filings over the past 10 years have increased by more
than 300 percent. During the same period, class action filings in state courts
have grown more than 1,000 percent.
Jury awards are skyrocketing. The top ten awards in 1999 totaled $9 billion
a 1,200 percent increase over 1998.
A RAND study showed that over half of all tort costs go to lawyers and
administrative expenses"victims" often receive a small fraction of the cost
of a lawsuit.
A 1999 joint survey conducted by Saratoga Institute in New York and Interim
Services found that lack of a tailored career development program is one of
the top three reasons that the 'emergent employee' leaves an organization.
The 'emergent employee' is not only the often-described Generation X'er who
wants to balance work and family life, he or she is the employee of any age who
desires to work with the employer to match individual interests with organizational
objectives. The study found that others drivers for retention are the quality of
supervision and the scope and flexibility of work. Regardless of the reason
employees leave, turnover is expensive, and proactive efforts to retain
qualified employees are required to ensure that the best and the brightest
don't defect to your competitors.
Two discrimination lawsuits that turned Ford Motor Co. and hundreds of current
and former managers into adversaries came to an end Thursday after a brief
hearing and a judge's signature.
Wayne County Circuit Judge Edward Thomas signed an order finalizing the
$10.5-million settlement reached in December in the class action.
Two of the most influential teams of attorneys practicing in the civil rights
arena -- including celebrity lawyer Johnnie Cochran -- have joined their suits
against Microsoft Corp., alleging a pattern of racial and sexual discrimination
against African-Americans and female employees.
Delta Airlines has been hit with a racial discrimination lawsuit. Three
African-American employees charged that the Atlanta-based carrier denied
blacks opportunities for promotion and did not pay on a par with white workers.
The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. According to
the suit, the plaintiffs are an executive account manager, a reservations sales
agent and a senior analyst, all from the Atlanta area.
The Coca-Cola Co. will pay $192.5 million to resolve race bias allegations
made by a class of 2,000 current and former African-American employees.
Four current and former African-American Coke employees filed the lawsuit,
which sought class-action status.
Microsoft Corporation was hit with one of the largest discrimination suits in
US history. Seven African-Americans alleged racism and a "plantation mentality"
at their workplace. The $5 billion suit alleges the employees were repeatedly
passed over for promotions, paid less than white employees and subjected to
harassment and retaliation when they complained and wrongful termination.
DETROIT (AP) - A factory worker for Ford Motor Co. sued the company for
$50 million Friday, claiming she was sexually harassed on several occasions
by a supervisor despite complaints to her managers.
W.R. Grace & Company said yesterday that it would pay $850,000 to settle
a lawsuit in which the United States Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission charged managers at a Maryland food-processing plant with
egregious sexual harassment of 22 female workers from Central America.
Sample Awards for Diversity-Related Litigation
The following are sample jury
verdicts and settlements from recent diversity-related lawsuits. The awards
do not include legal fees, costs to replace employees, or lost work hours due
to the distraction of being involved in litigation. One significant cost not
represented in these awards is the damage such lawsuits can do to a
company's name and reputation. The New York Times (1/7/97) reported
that Texaco is paying a public relations firm 40 million dollars to repair its
public image following the 1997 suit cited below.
Mazda North America Inc. ordered to pay over 4.4 million dollars to former
employee after finding she had been harassed and then fired by male
supervisor when she refused to be his girlfriend (1999).
Archer Daniels Midland Co. ordered to pay 4.5 million dollars to former
employee who claimed he was harassed because of an emotional disorder
related to his military service (1999).
Maryland jury awards $375,000 to male state trooper denied family leave
because of gender. This is believed to be the first case of sex discrimination
brought under the Family and Medical Leave Act (1999).
Arkansas Human Services Department settles a class action race discrimination
case for 3.6 million dollars (1998).
Texaco settles race discrimination suit brought by six African-American
employees for 176 million dollars (1997).
J.C. Penney in Seattle, WA paid workers 1 million dollars for perpetuating
a racially hostile work environment (1996).
Baker and McKenzie law firm ordered to pay a former secretary (who worked
at the firm for 10 weeks) over 7 million dollars in sexual harassment suit (1994).
Lucky Stores, Inc. settled a class action sex discrimination suit for 107.25
million dollars (1993).
State Farm ordered to pay 157 million dollars for deliberately not hiring
female agents in California (1992).