Yahoo!, a popular search engine and internet company, is being sued by a former employee over allegations of gender bias and wrongful termination. According to the lawsuit, which was filed in San Jose, managers at Yahoo! carried out mass firings of males while hiring more females. The lawsuit also alleges that Yahoo! violated California’s WARN Act, which requires employers to give 60 days’ notice of mass layoffs involving more than 50 employees. A federal law similar to the WARN Act was also allegedly violated by the company.
Allegations mentioned in the lawsuit claim men were treated worse than women by managers, especially when it came to performance reviews. The former employee alleges these performance reviews were rigged to favor female workers. Yahoo!’s performance review system allows for employees with low enough scores to face job termination. The lawsuit claims men were given low scores and immediately terminated, while women were allowed to protest their performance reviews, or if fired, be given advanced notice to find other jobs.
In addition, the employee responsible for filing the lawsuit argued his superiors vocally expressed support for hiring more women to Yahoo!’s media team. If these allegations can be proven, Yahoo! could be in trouble for willfully allowing sexism in the workplace.
Why Sexism in the Workplace is Illegal
Workplace sexism is illegal under California and federal law. Employers cannot base hiring or firing decisions based on gender. Employees who are fired based on their gender may have legal options to recover damages from their employers. In the case of the lawsuit against Yahoo!, the plaintiff is seeking $5 million.