Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Yahoo corporate headquarters

SAN JOSE — A lawyer representing two former male Yahoo Inc. employees faced a string of skeptical questions Wednesday afternoon from the judge overseeing his clients’ gender discrimination case.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Ross Todd

Ross Todd is the Editor/columnist for the Am Law Litigation Daily. He writes about litigation of all sorts. Previously, Ross was the Bureau Chief of The Recorder, ALM's California affiliate. Contact Ross at [email protected] On Twitter: @Ross_Todd.

More from this author

Law Firms Mentioned

[caption id="attachment_1413" align="alignnone" width="616"]<img class="size-full wp-image-1413" src="http://www.almcms.com/contrib

  • Morgan Lewis Bockius

/uploads/sites/403/2017/10/Yahoo-Article-201710092322.jpg" alt="" width="616" height="372" /> Yahoo corporate headquarters[/caption] SAN JOSE ��� A lawyer representing two former male Yahoo Inc. employees faced a string of skeptical questions Wednesday afternoon from the judge overseeing his clients' <a href="http://www.therecorder.com/id=1202800060673/3-Things-to-Watch-as-Yahoo-Fights-Male-Employees-Gender-Discrimination-Suit?mcode=1202617583589&amp;curindex=8&amp;curpage=ALL" target="_blank">gender discrimination case</a>. Palo Alto-based attorney Jon Parsons claims that his clients���<a href="http://www.corpcounsel.com/id=1202749085844#comments" target="_blank">Gregory Anderson</a> and <a href="http://www.corpcounsel.com/id=1202769581629" target="_blank">Scott Ard</a>���were pushed out of the company by female managers who went too far to promote and hire women. He���s also argued that Yahoo���s forced ranking system, designed to push out low performers and managers who didn���t add sufficient value��to the company, was a��pretense to conduct mass layoffs in violation of state and federal laws designed to protect workers. At a hearing on Yahoo���s motion for summary judgment in the case, Parsons honed in on Yahoo���s quarterly review process, where employees performance scores were often ���recalibrated��� by upper-level managers who had little or no direct contact with them. ���What we have is a practice of men���s scores being reduced while women���s scores were not��� by women in upper management, Parsons said. ���The proper process, we would submit, is that the managers who know what their employees are doing should evaluate the employees.��� But U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins, who is overseeing the case, suggested that allowing the review of a single manager to determine the value of an employee could be potentially more troublesome, as could a system that foregoes reviews altogether. Cousins asked: ���Is the alternative potential more discriminatory and more unfair?��� Cousins also��prodded Parson to point��to evidence��that showed that his clients weren't the poor performers that their Yahoo reviews made them out to be. "What tells me that their assessment was wrong?" the judge asked. The case has moved to the summary judgment phase just as��a broader discussion��about gender��diversity in��Silicon Valley has reached a boiling point,��after a <a href="http://www.nationallawjournal.com/id=1202795139409/Google-Engineers-Viral-Memo-Sparks-Legal-Questions">Google engineer's memo</a> arguing that women are biologically less adept at technology��led to his termination. Yahoo, represented by a team at Morgan, Lewis &amp; Bockius led by labor and employment partner Melinda Riechert, has pushed back against Parsons��� narrative and defended Yahoo���s review system. ���If you just have one person giving the score, and there���s no review of the score, that allows more discrimination to take place than a score given by a whole team of managers with��� human resources officials overseeing the process, she said. Yahoo claims that Anderson was fired because of consistently lower quarterly performance review scores, which put him in the bottom 5 percent of the entire company, and low scores from his subordinates in bottom-up reviews. Ard, the company argues, was let go because his manager found that he didn���t add enough value to his team, especially given his senior level. But on Wednesday, Parsons argued that Anderson���s score was artificially manipulated downward and that Ard was pushed out shortly after he complained about changes that resulted in male employees below him having their review scores reduced. Parsons also argued that Yahoo manipulated its review process to make layoffs look like merit-based job cuts in order to avoid triggering obligations under the state and federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) laws,�� which require notice and benefits for workers affected by economic cuts. ���If the court allows a company like Yahoo to manipulate these numbers and create terminations ���for cause,��� " Parsons said, ���then the WARN Act becomes a toothless device.��� Cousins held off on ruling and said that he would issue a written opinion after reviewing the matter and reading the deposition transcript of former CEO Marisa Mayer, which Yahoo is seeking to keep under seal. Both Parsons and Riechert declined to comment beyond their remarks to the judge. <

  • Morgan Lewis Bockius


RICO: Civil and Criminal Law and StrategyBook

RICO: Civil and Criminal Law and Strategy provides a fundamental grounding in substantive RICO law and focuses on strategic and tactical considerations of RICO practice...

Get More Information

America's Claims Executive Virtual Leadership Forum & Expo 2021Event

ACE Virtual Leadership Forum & Expo is the annual conference for Senior Claims Executives in Insurance organizations.

Get More Information

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.