Former Labor Secretary to Lead Diversity Task Force
Alexis M. Herman, former labor secretary in the Clinton administration, has been appointed chairwoman of a panel to oversee the Coca-Cola Company’s diversity efforts. The seven-member panel, created by the terms of a settlement of the class-action discrimination lawsuit against Coca-Cola, has the power to make binding recommendations about how the company hires, promotes and evaluates employees who are women or minorities. Herman will cast the tie-breaking vote in the event that the other six members cannot agree. Three members will be appointed by Coca-Cola and three by lawyers for the plaintiffs. Unless the company receives a court waiver, it must follow the panel’s recommendations.
While Herman was labor secretary, the department, as part of its audit of employment practices at federal contractors, found that Coca-Cola had violated federal anti-discrimination laws and ordered the company to improve.
Herman says she sees her role as one of providing the panel with independent oversight.
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