SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Girls 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 line with courtroom filings made public on Monday.
The determine was cited by plaintiffs suing Microsoft for systematically denying pay raises or promotions to ladies on the world’s largest software program firm. Microsoft denies it had any such coverage.
The lawsuit, filed in Seattle federal courtroom 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 ladies.
Extra particulars about Microsoft’s human sources practices have been made public on 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 ladies at Microsoft, just one was deemed “based” by the corporate, in line with the unsealed courtroom filings.
Attorneys for the ladies described the variety of complaints as “surprising” within the courtroom filings, and stated the response by Microsoft’s investigations staff was “lackluster.”
Firms typically maintain details about inner discrimination complaints personal, making it unclear how the variety of complaints at Microsoft compares to these at its opponents.
In a press release on Tuesday, Microsoft stated it had a sturdy system to research considerations raised by its staff, and that it needed them to talk up.
Microsoft budgets greater than $55 million a yr to advertise range and inclusion, it stated in courtroom filings. The corporate had about 74,000 U.S. staff on the finish of 2017.
Microsoft stated the plaintiffs can not cite one instance of a pay or promotion downside wherein Microsoft’s investigations staff ought to have discovered a violation of firm coverage however didn’t.
U.S. District Choose James Robart has not but dominated on the plaintiffs’ request for sophistication motion standing.
A Reuters evaluation of federal lawsuits filed between 2006 and 2016 revealed tons of containing sexual harassment allegations the place firms used widespread civil litigation ways to maintain doubtlessly damning info beneath wraps.
Microsoft had argued that the variety of womens’ human sources complaints ought to be 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 holding the data sealed.
Reporting by Dan Levine; Extra reporting by Salvador Rodriguez; Enhancing by Invoice Rigby, Edwina Gibbs and Bernadette Baum