Science

Microsoft received 238 gender discrimination and harassment complaints

Microsoft received 238 gender discrimination and harassment complaints

A Microsoft logo is seen a day after Microsoft Corp's $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn Corp in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on June 14, 2016.

There were 238 complaints of gender discrimination or sexual harassment filed by USA -based female employees in technical roles at Microsoft from 2010 to 2016, according to new court documents made public this week. They allege Microsoft "systematically" denied "pay raises or promotions to women", Reuters reported. In another investigation, ERIT concluded that a male employee "engaged in harassing behavior as described in Microsoft's Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Policy (Sexual Harassment)", yet ERIT still perplexingly found that the behavior did not rise to the level of a policy violation.

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 employees in the lawsuits are seeking class action status, and if they receive the status, the case could include thousands of the company's US-based female employees.

Their latest filing, submitted to the Washington Western District Court yesterday, aims to demonstrate this culture is leading to widespread complaints, revealing there were 238 internal complaints made to Redmond between 2010 and 2016.

The company's human resources practices were highlighted in the documents made public Monday.

Although the trial has not been scheduled yet, the two sides of exchanging documents are available to the public. "Today, for every $1 earned by men, our female employees in the USA earn $1.000 dollars at the same job title and level", the company says.




Microsoft budgets more than $55 million a year to promote diversity and inclusion, it said in court filings.

Microsoft has since denied the allegations, saying the plaintiffs have yet to find an instance of a promotion which violated company standards.

In a statement Tuesday, a Microsoft spokesperson said all employee concerns are taken seriously and that the company has a "fair and robust sysem in place" to investigate them.

The court documents stated only one gender discrimination complaint out of 118 was "founded" by the globe's largest software company.

Microsoft had argued that the number of women's human resources complaints should be kept secret because publicising the outcomes could deter employees from reporting future abuses. However, a court-appointed official found the situation to be too far from a competitive or business harm to keep the information private.


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