• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

3M Companies appears poised to settle a high-profile age discrimination suit. Earlier this year, the company filed a joint motion for preliminary ap­proval of a class-action settlement involving approximately 7,000 workers.

If the Ramsey County District Court agrees, the employees (and their attorneys) will split $12 million.

The suit arose out of 3M’s adoption of a rigorous quality-control system under former CEO James McNerney Jr., who had great success with “Six Sigma Management” while working at General Electric.

However, the plaintiffs claimed that the system’s effect was to consistently promote younger workers. They alleged older employees received lower performance ratings, missed out on leadership training, were denied promotions, given smaller pay increases and fewer stock options and had been terminated in disproportionately higher numbers than younger employees.

McNerney left the company in 2005. Current CEO George Buckley scrapped Six Sigma, claiming it is appropriate for manufacturing environments, but not necessarily in research-oriented companies like 3M.

Employment lawyers have carefully watched the suit to see how the supposedly discriminatory aspects of Six Sigma would play out.

3M admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement papers.

Note: Employers must be conscious of potential discrimination traps ­inside different management systems. Six Sigma emphasizes high quality and low variability in product output. Critics maintain the same approach to innovation can sometimes stifle creativity. Generationally, regimes such as Six Sigma may go against the grain of the “think outside the box” baby boomers. Continuous monitoring of any management system is necessary to improve results—and limit liability.

Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!

Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...

We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.

The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.

" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/14530/3m-to-settle-age-bias-suit-rooted-in-quality-control-plan "

Leave a Comment