American companies create their own version of Survivor to fire the least productive employees

A method of evaluating employees, in which they are ranked against each other, is prompting lawsuits in the U.S.
||Last Updated: 07/21/2003

Employees at Microsoft, Ford Motor and Conoco complain about systems that evaluate them on a bell curve, or rank people against other employees, from best to worst. They say the rating systems are discriminatory. White males tend to be favoured over blacks and women, younger managers over older ones, and immigrants over Americans.

The grading systems tend to help managers make clear distinctions between employees. Specifically, they single out the worst performers, who then may be let go. The systems are known as forced rankings, distributions or, in less flattering terms

rank and yank