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Apeksha Bagchi

IWB Blogger

238 Discrimination And Harassment Complaints Filed By Women Employees Of Microsoft Since 2010

  • IWB Post
  •  March 13, 2018

Between 2010 to 2016, 238 internal complaints have been filed by the women working at Microsoft Corp. about gender discrimination or sexual harassment as per the court filings which were made public on Monday. Details about Microsoft’s human resources practices were also made public.

Microsoft has been sued by plaintiffs who have put up the towering number of cases as proof that the world’s largest software company is systematically denying pay raises or promotions to women, though Microsoft denies the claims. Citing the number of complaints “shocking” in the court filings, the attorneys for the women found Microsoft’s investigations team’s response to it to be “lacklustre.”

Though the lawsuit had been filed in the Seattle federal court in 2015 it only got the attention after the fields of entertainment, the media and politics saw a series of powerful men leaving or getting fired from their jobs for sexual misconduct.

According to details in the unsealed court filings, of the 118 gender discrimination complaints filed by women, only one was deemed “founded” by Microsoft.

In its defence, Microsoft has said that the plaintiffs did not identify practices that would impact enough employees, warranting a class action. It further said that it spends over $55 million per year to promote diversity and inclusion and claimed that the plaintiffs cannot cite one example of a pay or promotion problem in which a violation of company policy should have been founded by Microsoft’s investigations team, but was not.

Research of the cases filed between 2006 and 2016 shows that hundreds of cases containing sexual harassment allegations where damning information about the company was kept hidden via common civil litigation tactics. Even Microsoft wanted the number of women’s human resources complaints to be kept a secret citing the reason that the number being publicized may deter employees from reporting abuse in the future.

Wanting to cover more than 8,000 women, the plaintiffs’ attorneys are pushing to proceed as a class action lawsuit. As of now, the trial has not been scheduled and the two sides are exchanging documents ahead of it.


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