Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich


Former Yahoo editor Gregory Anderson has filed a lawsuit against Yahoo and its internal-performance review system, called QPR, alleging that it violated federal and California laws and discriminated against men,according to a New York Times report on Monday.

The lawsuit, filed on Monday in the federal district court in San Jose, alleges that Anderson was illegally laid off during his leave of absence period to attend a fellowship program at the University of Michigan.

The suit says that employees on approved leave are not subject to the QPR, but the decision to cut him was based on an “ad hoc ‘cumulative’ QPR Process” that had “no transparency for employees to understand what was happening and why.”

His lawsuit also claims that the QPR ratings were manipulated to favor certain employees. QPR, short for “quarterly performance reviews,” is a stack ranking system that puts a fixed portion of employees in five different ratings.

The lawsuit says:

The QPR 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. This manipulation of the QPR Process permitted employment decisions, including terminations, to be made on the basis of personal biases and stereotyping.

The suit also claims that Anderson was discriminated against based on his gender, as his — female — boss and former CMO Kathy Savitt at the time allegedly ramped up on female hirings intentionally.

The filing says:

Plaintiff [Anderson] is informed and alleges that [his former boss] Savitt has publicly expressed support for increasing the number of women in media and has intentionally hired and promoted women because of their gender, while terminating, demoting or laying off male employees because of their gender.

Anderson was let go as part of more than 600 Yahoo employees who were laid off in late 2014 after receiving unfavorable QPR ratings.

According to the Times report, California law requires a 60-day advance notice for layoffs of more than 50 employees within 30 days at a single location. Federal law also requires similar advance notices for layoffs exceeding 500 people, it said.

Here’s the comment Yahoo sent us in response to the lawsuit:

“As noted in our Diversity Report, fairness is a guiding principle of our annual review and reward process. Our performance review process was developed to allow employees at all levels of the company to receive meaningful, regular, and actionable feedback from others. We believe this process allows our team to develop and do their best work. Our performance review process also allows for high performers to engage in increasingly larger opportunities at our company, as well as for low performers to be transitioned out.”

As reported by Business Insider