Report: Older Ford employees received lower evaluations

Statistics in a report released last week by lawyers suing Ford show that the older the worker, the more likely the employee was to receive a lower grade on his or her yearly evaluation.

Lawyers claim the evaluation system, in which employees were given A, B or C grades, was an underhanded way for Ford to get rid of older, more highly paid workers. Managers who were given a C grade were not given raises or bonuses and were warned that a second C grade could lead to their dismissal. Ford dropped the evaluation method in July, but the lawsuits continue.

Ford says the statistical report doesn't give the whole story.

"Raw statistics can be misleading. And they can be misinterpreted," said Ford spokeswoman Anne Gattari. She said the numbers in the report look only at age and gender. "The statistics require a deeper analysis, one that gives consideration of variables such as work history, job responsibility and time spent in a management level position," she said.

David Murphy, who implemented the program as vice-president of human relations, left the company along with Nasser two weeks ago.

Joe Laymon, Ford's newly named vice president of human resources, has an employee-friendly reputation. At Eastman Kodak Co., he championed improving the quality of health care coverage for Kodak employees while keeping premium increases at or below the consumer price index.

You can reach Richard Truett at rtruett@crain.com

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