US Metty case to proceed to jury trial

30 November 2006
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30 November 2006 | Paul Snell

Motorola has provided "very few objective or quantifiable measures" to support the dismissal of one of the top purchasers in the US, according to a court there.

The company faces a sexual discrimination lawsuit from its former corporate vice-president and chief procurement officer Theresa Metty.

Last month Motorola tried to convince a Chicago court that a jury trial was unnecessary, saying Metty had not provided sufficient evidence that other employees were treated more fairly. The court said this challenge was "not compelling".

The ruling by judge David Coar also found there was evidence to suggest that Ed Zander, CEO of Motorola, and those below him may have "attempted to construct a record or paper trail to make up for that failure, thereby ensuring that their decision to terminate [Metty's employment] could not be challenged".

Motorola claims the decision to sack Metty was based upon her poor performance in her job, but Coar said: "Events leading up to [Metty's] termination involved a conspicuously intense four-month period of negative interaction, following four years of relatively serene interaction."

In a statement to SM, Motorola said: "Metty's claims of discrimination are entirely without merit and the company will defend itself against these baseless accusations. Women and minorities serve in key roles across the organisation, including several in senior leadership positions. Motorola is committed to fostering an open and tolerant work environment and prides itself on its diversity leadership."

SMnov2006

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