Of these, 108 were of sexual harassment, 119 of gender discrimination, eight of retaliation and three of pregnancy discrimination. Last year, the company waived the requirement for pre-dispute arbitration agreements in sexual harassment claims, which means that victims may be more comfortable coming forward with their complaints.
Women at Microsoft Corp filed 238 internal complaints about discrimination or sexual harassment between 2010 and 2016, according to court filings. They allege Microsoft "systematically" denied "pay raises or promotions to women", Reuters reported.
Plaintiff's attorneys are now pushing to proceed as a class action lawsuit, and a trial has not been schedule yet. According to details in unreleased court fillings, out of 118 gender discrimination complaints filed by female employees at Microsoft, only one was regarded "founded" by the company.
The case was first filed in 2015 and the lead plaintiffs, Katherine Moussouris and Holly Muenchow, are seeking approval to bring the suit as a class action covering more than 8,600 women. So, it is unclear how many actual complaints have been filed and how it compares with competitors of Microsoft. The company adds that it spends more than $55 million a year to promote diversity and inclusion.
Microsoft said the plaintiffs can not 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.
The Redmond-based tech giant Microsoft outlined in a court filling that plaintiffs do not have a right idea about the number of affected employees needed to file a class action lawsuit. In these allegations, companies implemented common civil litigation tactics to keep information about sexual misconduct allegations private.
Microsoft had argued the numbers shouldn't be released as they might deter it from reporting future abuses, but Reuters reported that a court-appointed official said this was "far too remote a competitive or business harm". However, this behavior still pervades for personal gains.