According to court filings made public Monday and reported by Reuters, women working in U.S.-based technical jobs filed 238 internal complaints of gender discrimination or sexual harassment to the tech giant between 2010 and 2016. Of the 118 claims of gender discrimination filed, Microsoft deemed one as “founded,” according to unsealed court documents.
(It’s hard to know whether these numbers are outsize or not since such internal figures are usually keep under wraps.)
The lawsuit, filed in Seattle in 2015, accuses Microsoft of systematically denying pay raises and promotions to women working there. Attorneys representing the plaintiffs want the lawsuit to proceed as a class action that could cover more than 8,000 employees and cited the number of internal complaints against the company.
Microsoft denies gender discrimination of any kind, and says the plaintiffs in the case have failed to identify a company practice that impacted enough workers to merit a class action. It also claims that the plaintiffs haven’t cited a pay or promotion decision that Microsoft’s investigations team should have flagged as violating company policy, but didn’t. According to Reuters, Microsoft had argued that the number of internal complaints to HR should have remained private to not discourage other employees from lodging them in the future.
Microsoft did not immediately return Fortune‘s request for comment on Monday’s news.
In February, Fortune cited the Microsoft case—and some women’s experiences with submitting complaints to the tech giant—in a story that examined how HR departments operate in the #MeToo era. Microsoft told Fortune at the time that the company “encourages employees to raise concerns and has numerous channels for them to do so. We take each concern seriously and have a separate team of experienced professionals whose job it is to investigate these types of allegations thoroughly and in a neutral way, and to reach a fair conclusion based on the evidence.”
Though the case against Microsoft was filed in 2015, it has gained new attention amid the #MeToo era’s reevaluation of how Corporate America treats its female employees. The judge in the case has not yet ruled on whether it can go forward as a class action.
Source: Technology – Google News