Boeing May Have Discriminated in RIF Process, Ninth Circuit Rules

According to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), managers at the Washington-state based Boeing Corporation discriminated against female employees when they administered the company’s Reduction in Force (RIF) evaluations, used to determine which employees would be laid off.

One Boeing employee, Antonia Castron, asked to be transferred away from a manager who often stated that he “didn’t want any more women” at the company, and that women “should be at home, not working.” Another employee, Renee Wrede, was given lower ratings in the RIF evaluation than she’d received in her regular performance evaluations; her manager was unable to explain why. Both women were laid off and subsequently represented by the EEOC in their gender-bias lawsuit against Boeing.

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Overruling the lower court, the Ninth Circuit—which covers California—ruled that the EEOC presented sufficient evidence from which a jury could find that the managers unlawfully tried to get rid of female employees using the RIF evaluation process.

We’ll have more on this case, and on how to double-check RIF decisions for possible bias, in an upcoming issue of California Employer Advisor.

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