Female Microsoft employees filed hundreds of harassment and discrimination complaints, lawsuit says

Microsoft said the plaintiffs cannot cite one example of a pay or promotion problem in which Microsoft’s investigations team should have found a violation of company policy but did not

Female Microsoft employees filed hundreds of harassment and discrimination complaints, lawsuit says

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.

Female Microsoft employees in technical roles filed 118 complaints of gender discrimination with the company between 2010 and 2016, according to court documents.

Microsoft is facing a lawsuit from several former employees who allege that the company routinely held back women in their workforce by denying them promotions and pay raises. 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 latest court filings from a gender pay lawsuit in Seattle revealed 238 complaints were filed against the tech giant.

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According to court filings, between 2010 and 2016, 238 women working in technical-based jobs for Microsoft in the USA filed internal complaints.

The scope of women's complaints against the company was made public Monday as part of an unsealing of documents in an ongoing lawsuit against Microsoft.

Plaintiffs' attorneys are pushing to proceed as a class action lawsuit, which could cover more than 8,000 women.

Although the trial has not been scheduled yet, the two sides of exchanging documents are available to the public.

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Microsoft said it spends $55m a year on "innovative diversity and inclusion programmes", had company-wide unconscious bias training and created a "robust internal investigation process to address employee concerns".

Microsoft claimed the plaintiffs were unable to specify one case of a salary or promotion problem that the company deemed a breach of its policy. The company had about 74,000 US employees at the end of a year ago. The court disagreed. U.S. District Judge James Robart is expected to rule on the plaintiff's class action status soon.

The plaintiffs claimed Microsoft "does not properly investigate or redress" such complaints, and note only one of the gender discrimination complaints was "founded".

Nadella's comments prompted uproar on social media at the time, and Microsoft quickly rushed out a response in which Nadella admitted he had been "completely wrong".

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The company had also argued that the numbers of complaints should not be released as they might deter people 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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