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Dell Slapped With Class-action Lawsuit for Alleged Discrimination Against Women

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 14 comments

It is nothing new when large entities are a target for something – it happens nearly every day and everyone wants a piece of the pie. According to a recently motivated class-action suit, Dell allegedly unfairly targeted women and employees over the age of 40 in recent layoffs.

The suit, launched by four former human-resources managers of Dell, are seeking US$500 million in their class-action suit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The four individuals, women, allege that the company and its ‘old boy network’ discriminated against women in pay, job placement, promotions and layoffs.

Back in May of 2007, Dell announced plans to show roughly 8,800 employees the door, about 10 percent of its workforce at that time. The layoffs apparently targeted women and older workers, and more than 80 percent of Dell’s upper management is now male, the lawsuit alleges.

Quoting Steven Wittels, a lawyer for the plaintiffs:

While Dell publicly proclaims a commitment to diversity as ‘an essential element of our corporate values,’ the reality fails to live up to the rhetoric. At Dell, it is an understatement to say that women face a glass ceiling; Dell’s glass ceiling is made of concrete.”

The plaintiffs claim that they have each lost more than US$1 million in salary and other benefits due to Dell’s discrimination. The plaintiffs apparently have statistical data to back up their claims and will be providing it in court. Dell has remained unavailable for comment at this time. According to Dell’s diversity Web page, the company workforce consists of one-third women and 32 percent of the company’s U.S. vice presidents are women or minorities.

Quoting the Web page:

Dell’s diversity programs give us access to the broadest pool of employees, which the company needs to meet the demands of its growing customer base. We recognize, of course, that this is always unfinished business. We actively recruit diverse talent and offer diverse employees tools to promote advancement.”

Dell has received numerous awards for its diversity programs over the years, perhaps making this allegation a true test of the computer makers’ efforts.

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 30, 2008 1:09 PM
    people are not fired, laid off when they are USEFUL.
    since some/most of the affirmative action hiring leaves much to be desired, it is understandable.
  • 3 Hide
    Pei-chen , October 30, 2008 1:16 PM
    "Back in May of 2007, Dell...show...employees the door...The plaintiffs claim...they...each lost more than US$1 million...due to Dell’s discrimination."
    Are they all VPs that were promoted just to fill quotas?
  • 3 Hide
    IH8U , October 30, 2008 3:41 PM
    What Dell needs to do is lay off all the inept people on their Helpless Desk. Can't begin to tell you all how many times I've called about a crashed HDD, or bad PSU, and get "did you try it in a working PC?". My response "the arm is physically striking the platter"(holding phone by the PC). After a while of hearing the tic, tic, tic of the arm they eventually get the idea (10min or so). Or a while of hearing the sounds of a dying PSU fan (squealing)/non functioning PSU (absence of sound). They think a bit, and say "sir we'll send a new one". (Note I hate Dell!)
  • 2 Hide
    gm0n3y , October 30, 2008 4:11 PM
    Wow, those are some highly paid Dell employees if they're out $1mill+ for a years work.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , October 30, 2008 5:17 PM
    This is sickening.
    They did not do a good job and got laid off.
    No one would listen had a guy been in the same situation.
    But now unproductive women can call daddy (government) and sue.

    It is not enough that women have quotas for hiring, some demand to be accommodated no matter what.

    And who's paying for this? Shareholders, for one. But more than that, the other employees who had to pick up the slack from those laid off, whose compensation will be shrunk to pay for these alleged damages in case the suit goes through.

    SICKENING!
  • 3 Hide
    cal8949 , October 30, 2008 6:01 PM
    if they were discriminating against woman then they would have never been hired in the first place,
  • 0 Hide
    androticus , October 30, 2008 9:41 PM
    Men and women are different, and as groups, have substantially different interests. Those interested in tech are largely men, and so it should be no surprise that a tech company's upper mgt was predominantly men. Maybe though a lot more women that men seek jobs like assembly line worker in a tech factory. So if there were layoffs, then obviously a lot more women than men would be let go. It is so easy to try to put nefarious spin on this, but it is outrageous to blame Dell for these facts.
  • 0 Hide
    JonnyDough , October 31, 2008 10:18 AM
    Despite whatever anyone thinks concerning women's right's movements, there is still more pressure on men to have income. Period. Our grandparents and parents are still from a day when men were expected to work. It hasn't changed for us. The difference now is that women can have jobs too. But if it comes down to any modern day family it's the man that is expected to work. The child support courts see it the same freakin' way. A man is expected to work and provide. If a man is a home-maker (which is actually great because we're not afraid to get dirty and we know how to fix crap and save money by caulking windows and putting up insulation, etc.) then he's considered to be "lazy."

    So cry me a river if women can't find jobs. Men HAVE to have jobs or solid women won't look twice at us, the court system will look down on us, and our parents will call us worthless. If a woman marries a guy with money and stays at home it's still perfectly acceptable.

    Signed,

    ~ A dad for equal PERCEPTION.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 31, 2008 1:42 PM
    This is absolutely fabulous!
    I,too, want a job where I work poorly, get laid off,
    and then sue the company for a thousand times more
    the money than I would have gotten had I kept on
    working.
    These people know how to work the system..
  • 1 Hide
    JonnyDough , October 31, 2008 9:06 PM
    Yes jacued...it's CALIFORNIA. Dirty business abounds.
  • -1 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , November 1, 2008 1:19 AM
    Everyone is assuming they're doing poorly at their jobs. Why is that?
  • 1 Hide
    Pei-chen , November 2, 2008 2:32 AM
    WheelsOfConfusionEveryone is assuming they're doing poorly at their jobs. Why is that?

    They were layoff while others still have their jobs.
  • -1 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , November 2, 2008 5:41 AM
    Pei-chenThey were layoff while others still have their jobs.

    Which automatically means there was no inappropriate discrimination?
  • 0 Hide
    p05esto , August 14, 2013 12:57 PM
    I've never seen a woman as productive and work as hard as the men around them, there's a reason they get paid less. I'm sure there are exceptions, but numbers don't lie. NOt trying to be sexist either, women are not as strong and don't have the endurance of men... not even close, no way.