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 pfizer leaked memo affirmative action hiring

Memorandum for Record  #4

This memorandum for is a description of the events of October 21, 1999.

On October 21, 1999, I came into the Regional office in Chicago to
discuss what I was told to be my initial capabilities survey.  The
meeting was not about District Manager Capabilities but about my hiring
practices over the past 22 months as District Manager in the
Indianapolis District.  The meeting was attended by Larry Yarcheck, the
Regional Manager and Cheryl Craig-James, the Regional Employee
Resources Coordinator.

The meeting was started by Larry Yarcheck who made an opening statement
to the effect that Cheryl and he were there to query me about my hiring
practices.  This is the first meeting I have ever had to talk about
hiring practices and procedures in Pfizer.
The approximate time of the meeting beginning was 8:30-8:45 am.
The meeting was extremely antagonisitic, harsh and hostile in tone from
both Cheryl and Larry.
I have never had my actions and personal integrity so severely
questioned and attacked in my entire life.  The questions centered on
the following:

1.  My hires over the past 22 months and why none were
2.  My visit to Purdue University's Minority Job Fair and perceived
lack of interaction with
     potential candidates.
3.  My questions to Cheryl Craig-James and Larry Yarcheck regarding
Pfizer's Diversity hiring policy.
4.  My specific questions regarding the Diversity Status of a
Ukarainian Immigrant.

The first questions centered on my recent hiring activities to hire a
candidate for Territory 14.  Cheryl James repeatedly questioned if I
had called these candidates she had sent me.  I told her that I had
indeed called a few of them during the week I was at my POA but that
they may have not been able to get in touch with me since I was at this
Both Cheryl and Larry then proceeded to question, each date, and each
time that I had called each of these candidates.  They questioned what
I had on my answering machine and why I did not have my home number on
my work answering machine in addition to my beeper number.  Each
question I answered was attacked with another question and then another
and another question.    The tone was one of  disgust from both Larry
and Cheryl.  Every time I answered a question, they listened, took
notes and often shook their heads from side to side.

Comments and questions from Cheryl James include:

"Are you taping this conversation?  Because if you are, it can be
punished with sanctions up to    and including Dismissal"
"I don't think you like to work with African-Americans."
"Why are you asking questions about Pfizer's Diversity policy"
"Why are you asking if the Diversity Policy is written down."
"Why are you asking if it is legal to discriminate against
non-Diversity candidates?"
"Why are you asking if a Ukranian immigrant is a Diversity
"If you hire an African-American, what is our guarantee that this
person will not suddenly become a 'performance problem and you will
work to get them fired.
 "Ron May (Labs ARM)  introduced you to an African American woman at
Purdue.  You didn't seem interested in her. Why?"  "Why didn't
you get her resume?"
"Why did you interview a white male for this position?"
"A Ukrainian Candidate is not a diverse Candidate because you cannot
see their Diversity from looking at them.  You still see a white person
when you look at them.  A Ukranian Candidate is not a Diversity
Candidate because they are white."
"Diversity Candidates are African Americans, American Indians, Asians
and Hispanics. Pakistanis, Indians, Europeans and Russians are not
Diversity Candidates.  We don't put that in writing because we really
don't want them to know that, but that is our policy.

Questions from Larry include:

"Do you know what this is?!  Do you know what this is?  (holding up
and pointing to a copy of my 1998 review).
"Do you know what this says?!"  "What does it say?" (Pointing
to the words 40%  minority and 20% Diversity).
"Read this out loud to me!"  (The performance review).
"You better leave your personal beliefs at home!"
"You're doing a great job of that yourself!"  (After I asked why
they were trying to bury me")
"How many times have we discussed Diversity in Reviews and at RM/DM
"Why don't you leave your home number so these candidates can call
you at home?!"
"Why are you purposefully trying to avoid Diversity in your
"When you look at your District, What do you see?"  Followed by
"All White Faces, that's what you see! And it's unacceptable, you
know better!"
"Yes We cancelled your interview with Phil Lothamer so you wouldn't
have to do it!" (This is the white candidate I sent forward for an

There were many, many more questions and much yelling on the part of
Larry Yarcheck. In fact, the majority of Larry's questions and
comments were yelled at me.  Twice during the meeting I had to be
excused because I could not hold back the tears in my eyes.  I tried
very hard to keep my composure and answer their questions.  The entire
situation was one of extreme duress.
I went into Matt Nelson's office to regain my composure.  I talked to
Matt and he was helpful in giving me strength.  During the meeting,
Cheryl and Larry took two breaks during which they met and talked in
private before calling me back into the office to restart the
interrogation.  This was certainly the most difficult moment of my
entire life.

          To questions above, and in general comments, I made the
following statements.

     I had contacted the candidates, during the POA. I may not have
received all their messages as I was out of town. I did receive a call
from Jeffrey French and we were playing phone tag.
     The very first potential hire of my DM career was an
African-American Male named Stephen Goodrich.  This candidate was
rejected by Larry Yarcheck.   The reason I did interview a white male
candidate is that this candidate was already interviewed once by my IHR
Dan Briscoe.  The reason I sent him forward is because I thought he was
a great candidate and he had a pending offer from Lilly.
     The reason I asked about the legality of cancelling Phil
Lothamer's interview was because I was worried about being sued for
rejecting a candidate for discrimination based on race (since this was
the reason given for cancelling his interview).

     The reason I asked about the Diversity Status of Viktoria Sokolova,
was because I genuinely thought she was a Diversity Candidate.
Conversations with other DMs and Pfizer's Policy as I knew it pointed
to her being a Diversity Candidate since she was diverse in
"culture."  She had been on country only 7 years.  Her candidacy
came about as result of an employee referral.
     In reply to Cheryl's question about me possibly having
performance problems with African American employees, I pointed out
that I have had three performance problems in my tenure:  One African
American woman (no longer with the company), and two white males, Mike
Venatta and Jeffrey McConihay.  Cheryl James was consulted on all three
of these issues.  Cheryl did not comment on my answer.
     Many times during the meeting I asked Larry to stop yelling at me
saying: "Please don't yell at me.  Why can't you just talk to
me?"  To this he replied:  " Don't give me any of that!"
Cheryl did nothing to intervene in the yelling. Being someone from
Employee Resources, I expected that she would intervene on my behalf.
     I made very plain that I was making every attempt to follow
Pfizer's policy and I would appreciate their help, not their
hindrance and harassment in doing so.
     I promised to hire a Diversity Candidate for the position in
territory 14.

The meeting ended with Cheryl saying that she hoped I would till call
on her for personnel issues.  Larry said nothing, but when outside of
the office, asked me in front of the secretaries if I wanted any Pizza
before I got on the road.  The time was 12:00.  I went to the bathroom
and just barely avoided vomiting.  This was the most horrible
experience of my life.

Tue, 10 Mar 2009 08:12:47 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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