June 15, 2010
MGT 540: Diversity
Morris Graduate School of Management
Table of Contents
Racial Discrimination Issues3
“Quota Cola” Case3
Coca-Cola Company Reaction to Lawsuits5
Analysis of Coca-Cola Diversity Initiatives8
In order for any organization to flourish, there must be inclusion of cultural diversity throughout. In saying that, the management of diversity in an organization is a direct reflection of realizing, accepting, and acknowledging differences, whether it is based upon race, ethnicity, age, etc. The following report will focus on the diversity issue of racial discrimination that the Coca Cola organization has been dealing with for a great deal of time. There will be evidence analyzed of several cases dealing this issue for the past ten years. In addition, the analysis will go one step further by referencing the various programs that have been adapted, in order to deal with the diversity issues, as well as what the organization can and should be done to avoid future problems. -------------------------------------------------
Racial Discrimination Issues
Although the Coca-Cola Company has had a long-standing reputation for its diversity programs, there have been several discrimination cases that have been filed against the organization within the last decade. Even though in some of the cases filed, the organization is denying the charges, it still must react to the allegations in order to comply with opinions from both internal and external stakeholders. In all the cases that will be mentioned, management is accused of underpaying, creating hostile work environment, and general discrimination regarding whistle blowing.
“Quota Cola” Case
The case brought forth in 1999 and settled in 2000, set the stage for a great deal of changes to be made in the Coca-Cola Company. Four black, dissatisfied employees filed a racial discrimination lawsuit based upon charges of Coca-Cola underpaying them since they were black and creating a hostile work environment. This case ended up becoming a class-action lawsuit that was settled out of court. More commonly known as, “Quota Cola Case”, it opened the flood gates for many more cases of racial discrimination allegations to be brought against Coca-Cola. The settlement for this case, with all additional fees totaled a little over $475 million, which covered all “salaried blacks employed by the organization in the U.S. from April 22, 1995 to June 14, 2000.” The settlement and fees not only included the salaried employees, but also donations to such organizations as: NCAA (national effort and Atlanta Coke Bottler), Minority Suppliers and Contractors, Coke pension funds, and other minority activism and non-profits (Things Go Better with Quotas? Case 26: Quota Cola!, 2002).
Even though there was a great deal of changes that Coke went through as a result of the previous case, which will be discussed later, there have been two other cases revolving around racial discrimination. Both cases are currently still on-going in the court system. Cincinnati Case
Another class-action lawsuit was filed in October of 2001 by a group of approximately 1,000 African-Americans that worked for the company since 1995. The allegations of the case accuse Coke of “creating a hostile, intimidating, offensive and abusive workplace environment for its African-American employees.” Claims stated that supervisors allowed white employees to both physically and mentally abuse minority employees, minorities (including Asians and Native Americans) were disciplined more sternly than white employees, and were denied overtime and promotional opportunities. A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola made a generic statement in response to the accusations, stating that the organization...