Is Motorola Harboring Diversity or Disrespect?

The state's largest private employer pours money into African-American causes--but critics charge its bosses don't walk the talk

Moore stresses that Motorola prides itself on two things: valuing workplace diversity and valuing employees' privacy. In other words, he doesn't have much to say about the RIFs or the lawsuit.

Moore declines to discuss ongoing litigation. As for the Aunt Jemima incident, he will not address it because it involves a specific employee. "Anecdotally," he says, "I was told that an individual did come on Halloween dressed as Aunt Jemima."

He confirms that the woman went home to change.
"Halloween is a difficult kind of situation, because, of course, we, along with the rest of American society, want to give employees an opportunity to enjoy that holiday," Moore says.

"Costumes of all kinds present a challenge," he adds, recalling that when he was a child, he wanted to dress like Satan for Halloween, but his uncle, a minister, prohibited it.

As for the Aunt Jemima incident, Moore places the responsibility on the shoulders of the injured party.

"What we encouraged in that situation, as we would in any situation," he says, "is that employees should step forward and indicate that they're taking an offense. And, of course, we ask all our employees to be sensitive to that."

Moore minimizes the impact of the Big Beatific Black Buddha award. "That was not an official Motorola award," he quickly points out. "What apparently happened . . . is that in a departmental recognition activity, there was a Buddha that was painted black. Once Motorola became aware of the situation, prompt action was taken. The specific nature of that action is between the employee and Motorola, and, as you know, we don't discuss personnel issues."

Motorola requires its managers to take diversity classes, Moore says, adding that "all of our employees are made aware of them and encouraged to take them."

Most important, Moore says, is Motorola's standing policy: "If someone feels that they are in a situation where by virtue of their race, national origin, sex, whatever, that there's an unfortunate situation, they are encouraged, a, to report it directly to their manager; b, to take advantage of our open-door policy and go as high in the organization chain as they want."

And it's understood that an employee who complains will not be victim of retribution?

"Absolutely understood," Moore says.

Doris and Maceo Gray still live in the apartment featured in the 1993 in-house Motorola video. African art still hangs on the walls, and sculpture shares space on the coffee table with Doris Gray's many awards. Maceo Gray has filled one of their three bedrooms with files documenting his case. He says the only work he has been able to find is part-time for a collection agency in addition to the hours he spends working on his case without pay.

As for Doris Gray, her feelings are summed up in a statement she wrote for her husband's lawyer, titled, "Impact to Spouse's Career As a Result of Motorola's Discrimination."

She wrote, "The impact of Motorola's discrimination against my spouse and their continuing discrimination and retaliation against me has resulted in my no longer enjoying my employment with Motorola.

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