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Why Diversity
Racial Slurs and Harassment at General
Electric
• General Electric came under fire in 2010 when 60 African
American workers filed suit against the company for racial
discrimination. The black workers say GE supervisor Lynn
Dyer called them racial slurs such as the N-word, “monkey,”
and “lazy blacks.”
• The suit also alleged that Dyer denied bathroom breaks and
medical attention to black workers and fired black workers
because of their race. In addition, the suit alleged that
higher-ups knew about the supervisor’s inappropriate
behavior but delayed investigating the matter.
• In 2005, GE faced a lawsuit for discriminating against black
managers. The suit accused the company of paying black
managers less than whites, denying them promotions and
using offensive terms to describe blacks. It settled in 2006.
Southern California Edison's History of
Discrimination Lawsuits
• In 2010, a group of black workers sued Southern
California Edison for discrimination. The workers
accused the company of consistently denying them
promotions, not paying them fairly, biased job
assignments, and not upholding two consent decrees
stemming from class action discrimination suits filed
against Southern California Edison in 1974 and 1994.
• The suit also pointed out that the number of black
employees at the company had dropped by 40 percent
since the last discrimination lawsuit was filed. The 1994
suit included a settlement for more than $11 million
and a mandate for diversity training.
Walmart Inc. vs. Black Truck Drivers
• Approximately 4,500 black truck drivers who applied to
work for Walmart Inc. between 2001 and 2008 filed a class-
action suit against the corporation for racial discrimination.
They said Walmart turned them away in disproportionate
numbers.
• The company denied any wrongdoing but agreed to settle
for $17.5 million. Walmart Inc. has been subject to several
dozen discrimination lawsuits since the 1990s. In 2010, a
group of the company’s West African employees in
Colorado sued Walmart after they were fired by supervisors
they allege sought to give their jobs to locals.
• Workers at an Avon, Colorado, Walmart said a new
manager told them, “I don’t like some of the faces I see
here. There are people in Eagle County who need jobs.”
Many More…
• Five former employees file class action suit against
Wipro over discrimination
• Coca-Cola lawsuit (re racial discrimination in USA)-
Coca-Cola agreed to a $192 million settlement, the
largest settlement ever in a corporate racial
discrimination case
• Why the gender discrimination lawsuit against Nike is
so significant
• Former Infosys employee files racial discrimination
lawsuit against IT major in US
ECONOMIC LOSS
IBM - A case study
• For some companies the failure to retain gay and transgender
employees goes far beyond the costs associated with high turnover.
IBM, for example, learned the hard way that forcing people out of the
job based on their gender identity can cost millions of dollars in
unrealized profits:
Lynn Conway underwent sex-reassignment surgery in 1968 and was
fired by IBM for being transsexual. Before her termination, Conway
had invented a method by which computer processors make multiple
calculations simultaneously and dynamically, which consequently led
to the creation of supercomputers that can take enormous amounts of
data and compile them to look for patterns. In the 1970s Conway went
on to work for the Memorex Corp. at the Xerox Palo Alto Research
Center, where her innovations influenced chip design worldwide.
Conway has since won many awards and high honors, including
election as a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the
highest professional recognition an engineer can receive. Conway is
currently a professor and associate dean of the College of Engineering
at the University of Michigan.
• IBM inexplicably fired Conway based on her gender identity despite
the fact that she was a highly skilled employee in a technologically
complex sector of the economy. Replacing Conway required IBM to
invest treasured company resources into finding, hiring, and
training an adequate replacement. But more importantly, IBM lost
significant profits by forcing out an employee who would
revolutionize an entire industry with her innovations. IBM now
includes gender identity in its nondiscrimination policy and is
known as a leader in fostering a welcoming and inviting workplace
for gay and transgender employees:
[IBM] ensures that people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or
transgender feel safe, welcomed and valued within the global walls
of our business. Our goal is to assemble the most talented workforce
in our industry, and to use the skills of that diverse team to respond
to the needs of our clients. The contributions that are made by [gay
and transgender] IBMers accrue directly to our bottom line and
ensure the success of our business. — Ted Childs, vice president,
Global Workforce Diversity1
Discrimination stifles job performance
Gay and transgender policies at
Fortune companies
Benefits
According to companies like JP Morgan, Ford
Motors, IBM and PepsiCo etc. the benefits of
diversity are:
(i) Nondiscrimination policies are inexpensive
(ii) Equal partner benefits are inexpensive
(iii)Employers report no moral or religious
concerns with nondiscrimination or benefits
Thank You!

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Discrimination Lawsuits.pptx

  • 2. Racial Slurs and Harassment at General Electric • General Electric came under fire in 2010 when 60 African American workers filed suit against the company for racial discrimination. The black workers say GE supervisor Lynn Dyer called them racial slurs such as the N-word, “monkey,” and “lazy blacks.” • The suit also alleged that Dyer denied bathroom breaks and medical attention to black workers and fired black workers because of their race. In addition, the suit alleged that higher-ups knew about the supervisor’s inappropriate behavior but delayed investigating the matter. • In 2005, GE faced a lawsuit for discriminating against black managers. The suit accused the company of paying black managers less than whites, denying them promotions and using offensive terms to describe blacks. It settled in 2006.
  • 3. Southern California Edison's History of Discrimination Lawsuits • In 2010, a group of black workers sued Southern California Edison for discrimination. The workers accused the company of consistently denying them promotions, not paying them fairly, biased job assignments, and not upholding two consent decrees stemming from class action discrimination suits filed against Southern California Edison in 1974 and 1994. • The suit also pointed out that the number of black employees at the company had dropped by 40 percent since the last discrimination lawsuit was filed. The 1994 suit included a settlement for more than $11 million and a mandate for diversity training.
  • 4. Walmart Inc. vs. Black Truck Drivers • Approximately 4,500 black truck drivers who applied to work for Walmart Inc. between 2001 and 2008 filed a class- action suit against the corporation for racial discrimination. They said Walmart turned them away in disproportionate numbers. • The company denied any wrongdoing but agreed to settle for $17.5 million. Walmart Inc. has been subject to several dozen discrimination lawsuits since the 1990s. In 2010, a group of the company’s West African employees in Colorado sued Walmart after they were fired by supervisors they allege sought to give their jobs to locals. • Workers at an Avon, Colorado, Walmart said a new manager told them, “I don’t like some of the faces I see here. There are people in Eagle County who need jobs.”
  • 5. Many More… • Five former employees file class action suit against Wipro over discrimination • Coca-Cola lawsuit (re racial discrimination in USA)- Coca-Cola agreed to a $192 million settlement, the largest settlement ever in a corporate racial discrimination case • Why the gender discrimination lawsuit against Nike is so significant • Former Infosys employee files racial discrimination lawsuit against IT major in US
  • 7. IBM - A case study • For some companies the failure to retain gay and transgender employees goes far beyond the costs associated with high turnover. IBM, for example, learned the hard way that forcing people out of the job based on their gender identity can cost millions of dollars in unrealized profits: Lynn Conway underwent sex-reassignment surgery in 1968 and was fired by IBM for being transsexual. Before her termination, Conway had invented a method by which computer processors make multiple calculations simultaneously and dynamically, which consequently led to the creation of supercomputers that can take enormous amounts of data and compile them to look for patterns. In the 1970s Conway went on to work for the Memorex Corp. at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where her innovations influenced chip design worldwide. Conway has since won many awards and high honors, including election as a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the highest professional recognition an engineer can receive. Conway is currently a professor and associate dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan.
  • 8. • IBM inexplicably fired Conway based on her gender identity despite the fact that she was a highly skilled employee in a technologically complex sector of the economy. Replacing Conway required IBM to invest treasured company resources into finding, hiring, and training an adequate replacement. But more importantly, IBM lost significant profits by forcing out an employee who would revolutionize an entire industry with her innovations. IBM now includes gender identity in its nondiscrimination policy and is known as a leader in fostering a welcoming and inviting workplace for gay and transgender employees: [IBM] ensures that people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender feel safe, welcomed and valued within the global walls of our business. Our goal is to assemble the most talented workforce in our industry, and to use the skills of that diverse team to respond to the needs of our clients. The contributions that are made by [gay and transgender] IBMers accrue directly to our bottom line and ensure the success of our business. — Ted Childs, vice president, Global Workforce Diversity1
  • 10. Gay and transgender policies at Fortune companies
  • 11. Benefits According to companies like JP Morgan, Ford Motors, IBM and PepsiCo etc. the benefits of diversity are: (i) Nondiscrimination policies are inexpensive (ii) Equal partner benefits are inexpensive (iii)Employers report no moral or religious concerns with nondiscrimination or benefits