Microsoft Hit By 238 Discrimination, Harassment Complaints

  • Microsoft Hit By 238 Discrimination, Harassment Complaints

Microsoft Hit By 238 Discrimination, Harassment Complaints

The Microsoft logo is shown on the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 13, 2017.

According to a report from Reuters, it appears that over a six-year period, Microsoft upheld only one of the 118 gender discrimination complaints they received from their female employees, per court filings. They allege Microsoft "systematically" denied "pay raises or promotions to women", Reuters reported. Microsoft denies it had any such policy.

The lawsuit, filed in Seattle federal court in 2015, is attracting wider attention after a series of powerful men have left or been fired from their jobs in entertainment, the media and politics for sexual misconduct.

The scope of women's complaints against the company was made public Monday as part of an unsealing of documents in an ongoing lawsuit against Microsoft.

Microsoft denies it had any such policy in place, but the plaintiff's attorneys are seeking to proceed the case as a class action lawsuit that would cover more 8,000 women out of Microsoft's total United States workforce of 74,000 employees.

According to court filings, between 2010 and 2016, 238 women working in technical-based jobs for Microsoft in the US filed internal complaints. Plaintiff's attorneys countered that the sheer number of complaints was "shocking" and characterized the response by the company as "lackluster".

Companies generally keep information about internal discrimination complaints private, so it is unclear how the number of complaints at Microsoft compares to competitors.

Microsoft's case is one of many piling up against giant companies in the technology industry, which has come under fire in recent years for its dearth of female and minority employees and for its culture, which some say is hostile toward those groups. For example, four female employees raised separate complaints of sexual harassment against a male employee at a Microsoft event, yet ERIT found no policy violation despite concluding that the accused harasser touched all four women in a manner that made them feel uncomfortable.

"Diversity and inclusion are critically important to Microsoft".

There is no trial date for the case, and judge James Robart has yet to rule on a whether the plaintiffs will be allowed to bring a class action case against Redmond.

Microsoft also argues that the number of complaints that were submitted to the Human Resource by women must be kept discrete since making the outcomes public can stop employees from reporting any form of abuse in the future.

A court-appointed official found that scenario "far too remote a competitive or business harm" to justify keeping the information sealed.