Managers Sue Ford For Reverse Discrimination

June 22, 2001 ( - Two white managers for Ford Motor are suing the automaker, alleging they were passed over for promotions in favor of women and minorities.

The suits, filed yesterday in US District Court in Detroit, accuse the automaker of requiring that managers either meet quotas for hiring and promoting women/minorities or risk losing lucrative bonuses.

And, like a growing number of class action lawsuits, this one has a web site, .

Passed Over?

In one suit, Ford Credit manager John Kovacs says he was repeatedly passed over for promotions and when he sent a letter of complaint to Ford chairman William Clay Ford Jr. through his attorney, he was placed on paid suspension.

The second suit involves Guy Bertram, a 49-year-old Ford management employee who says he was passed over for promotion several times because he is a white male.

David Murphy, Ford’s vice president of human resources, said there are no quotas per se, but that managers’ success at hiring and promoting women and minorities is a factor in their overall performance evaluation, according to an Associated Press report.

Making the Grade

Ford faces at least two other lawsuits filed by current and former employees who also say they were denied promotions or were terminated because of their age or for being white males (see  Ford Workers Give Performance System an “F”  .

Those lawsuits are targeting Ford’s Performance Management Program (PMP), which is used to evaluate some 18,000 top managers. The system has been in place for about a year. Plaintiffs say they had previously received positive evaluations, but that changed once the program was implemented.