Women working for Microsoft Corp filed 238 internal complaints regarding gender discrimination and sexual harassment. The women were employed in tech jobs in the United States between 2010 and 2016, said court filings.
Public Court Filings
Court filings made public at the start of this week revealed the 238 complaints filed in the 7 year span. Plaintiffs suing Microsoft cited the figure, bringing it into the public spotlight. The lawsuit is over allegedly denying pay raises or promotions to women working for the corporation. Microsoft denies the existence of a policy of that nature.
The lawsuit was originally filed in 2015. It was filed in a Seattle federal court. It has been brought back into the public eye as a number of powerful men have left – or were fired from – their positions in the media, politics or entertainment industries for sexual misconduct.
The plaintiff’s attorneys are seeking to advance in the form of a class action lawsuit. In that case, it would cover over 8,000 women currently or previously employed by the company.
Legal filings made on Monday to pursue class action status. Those filings revealed additional details about Microsoft’s human resources practices. Both sides of this suit have been involved in a documents exchange in advance of a trial. That said, no date has been set for a trial for this case.
One hundred and eighteen of the complaints filed by women employed by Microsoft were for gender discrimination. Of all those filings, Microsoft deemed only one to be “founded”. This was revealed in the court’s unsealed documents for this case.
“Shocking” Number of Complaints
The women’s attorneys have described the number of discrimination and harassment complaints as “shocking.” They called Microsoft’s investigations team response “lackluster”.
Typically speaking, companies will keep private any information about internal discrimination. Therefore, it isn’t possible to make any realistic comparison of the number of complaints at Microsoft against its rivals.
Microsoft released a statement on Tuesday, saying it maintains a solid system of investigation for complaints registered by its employees. It also said it encourages employees to speak up when they have concerns.