According to court filings made public Monday and reported by Reuters, women working in USA -based technical jobs filed 238 internal complaints of gender discrimination or sexual harassment to the tech giant between 2010 and 2016.
The plaintiff's attorneys want to move the case forward as a class action lawsuit - that would cover more than 8,000 women - but the USA district judge has yet to schedule a trial. The plaintiffs accused Microsoft of routinely passing over female employees for promotions or pay raises. More details about Microsoft's human resources practices were made public on Monday in legal filings submitted as part of that process.
Court documents indicate women at Microsoft filed more than 200 complaints about gender discrimination or sexual harassment between 2010 and 2016.
Microsoft further noted that 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.
In court filings, the software company stated it budgets more than US$55 million a year to promote diversity and inclusion. 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.
Microsoft has since denied the allegations, saying the plaintiffs have yet to find an instance of a promotion which violated company standards.More news: Tremendous positive energy, warmth & genuine affection at Sonia Gandhi dinner: Rahul
In the latest document, which is a motion to bring the case as a class action, the plaintiffs claimed Microsoft's investigations team is "notorious... for "rubber-stamping" management", while employees have "little faith" in investigations.
Women in technical roles reported 108 incidents of alleged sexual harassment and assault to the company between 2010 and 2016, court documents say. The company had about 74,000 US employees at the end of past year.
"While 238 complaints lodged with HR by professional women making careers at a Fortune 50 company is shocking enough, what is even more disappointing is the lacklustre response to the issues raised by the Microsoft team tasked with investigating complaints of Microsoft's anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy", said the court filing, from a lawsuit first filed in Seattle federal court in 2015.
"We want employees to speak up if they have concerns, and we strive to make it easy for them to do so", the statement continued.
There is no trial date for the case, and judge James Robart has yet to rule on a whether the plaintiffs will be allowed to bring a class action case against Redmond.