238 internal complaints on gender discrimination/sexual harassment at Microsoft

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Attorneys are attempting to turn this into a class action lawsuit, covering over 8,000 women. 

Microsoft received 238 internal complaints about gender discrimination or sexual between 2010 and 2016. This was disclosed in court filings on Monday. The figure was cited by plaintiffs suing Microsoft for systematically denying pay raises or promotions to women. Microsoft denies it had any such policy.

As this case follows high-profile incidents from the media industry, where top executives were fired for sexual misconduct, it is now getting a lot of attention.

Attorneys are trying to turn this into a class action lawsuit, which could cover more than 8,000 women.

According to Microsoft’s court filings, the plaintiffs did not identify practices that impact enough employees to warrant a class action, and it spends more than $55 million per year to promote diversity and inclusion. The Company had about 74,000 American employees at the end of last year.

Microsoft said the plaintiffs cannot cite one example of a pay or promotion problem in which Microsoft’s investigation team should have found a violation of company policy. A Microsoft spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

US District Judge James Robart has not yet ruled on the plaintiffs’ request for class action status.

More details about Microsoft’s human resources practices were made public on Monday in legal filings submitted as part of the process.

Out of 118 gender discrimination complaints filed by women at Microsoft, only one was deemed “founded” by the Company, according to details in the unsealed court filings.

Microsoft has argued that the number of human resources complaints by women should be kept secret because publicising the outcomes could deter employees from reporting future abuses.

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