Microsoft girls filed 238 bias, harassment complaints

(Reuters) — Ladies at Microsoft Corp. working in U.S.-based technical jobs filed 238 inner complaints about gender discrimination or sexual harassment between 2010 and 2016, in accordance with court docket filings made public Monday.

The determine was cited by plaintiffs suing Microsoft for systematically denying pay raises or promotions to girls on the world’s largest software program firm. Microsoft denies it had any such coverage.

The lawsuit, filed in Seattle federal court docket in 2015, is attracting wider consideration after a sequence of highly effective males have left or been fired from their jobs in leisure, the media and politics for sexual misconduct.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys are pushing to proceed as a category motion lawsuit, which might cowl greater than eight,000 girls. Extra particulars about Microsoft’s human assets practices have been made public Monday in authorized filings submitted as a part of that course of.

The 2 sides are exchanging paperwork forward of trial, which has not been scheduled.

Out of 118 gender discrimination complaints filed by girls at Microsoft, just one was deemed “based” by the corporate, in accordance with particulars within the unsealed court docket filings.

Attorneys for the ladies known as the variety of complaints “stunning” within the court docket filings and the response by Microsoft’s investigations workforce “lackluster.”

Firms usually maintain details about inner discrimination complaints non-public, so it’s unclear how the variety of complaints at Microsoft compares to opponents.

Microsoft stated in court docket filings that the plaintiffs didn’t determine practices that affect sufficient staff to warrant a category motion, and that it spends greater than $55 million per yr to advertise range and inclusion. The corporate had about 74,000 U.S. staff on the finish of final yr.

Microsoft stated the plaintiffs can’t cite one instance of a pay or promotion downside during which Microsoft’s investigations workforce ought to have discovered a violation of firm coverage however didn’t. A Microsoft spokesperson couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

U.S. District Choose James Robart has not but dominated on the plaintiffs’ request for sophistication motion standing.

A Reuters evaluation of federal court docket circumstances filed between 2006 and 2016 revealed a whole bunch containing sexual harassment allegations the place corporations used frequent civil litigation techniques to maintain doubtlessly damning data beneath wraps.

Microsoft had argued that the variety of girls’s human assets complaints needs to be saved secret as a result of publicizing the outcomes might deter staff from reporting future abuses.

A court-appointed official discovered that state of affairs “far too distant a aggressive or enterprise hurt” to justify preserving the data sealed.


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