Wayne County Circuit Judge Edward Thomas said in a Monday ruling that such supervision was unnecessary, The Detroit News reported. “He made it pretty clear he didn’t want to get involved,” said Ford attorney Robert Powell.
Plantiffs’ attorney Michael Pitt said the managers were worried that those offered buyout packages would be the same ones who received a negative score on Ford’s controversial and now abandoned managerial evaluation system (see Ford Workers Give Performance System an “F”). In their suit, the managers alleged they were passed over for promotions or forced out to make room for ‘diversity’ candidates (see Managers Sue Ford For Reverse Discrimination) .
But, in this week?s ruling, Thomas pointed out that any buyout offers to the litigants:
- wouldn’t come before mid-October
- would also be sent to their lawyers
- will allow the litigants 45 days to consult with their counsel before deciding.
Pitt said the Ford managers wouldn’t appeal.
Ford announced August 22 that it would offer up to 5,000 managers voluntary buyout or early retirement packages with a goal of slashing its 50,000-member white-collar work force by 10% (see Ford Cost Cuts Target 5,000 Salaried Workers ). Any manager who accepts a buyout would not be allowed to subsequently sue the company, Powell said.
Ford faces lawsuits by two groups of current and former managers trying to have their suits certified as class action, and one individual suit which claims the managers were denied promotions or were terminated because of their age or for being white males.
Evaluation System Dropped in July
In July, Ford said it would discontinue its 18-month-old system of evaluating about 18,000 managers. Under the Performance Management Process, employees were graded A, B, or C (see Ford Workers Give Performance System an “F” ).
Those receiving a C could lose bonuse