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Gender discrimination lawsuit against Microsoft reveals issues

Microsoft has been at the center of a major lawsuit regarding gender discrimination in recent years, and the lawsuit has just caused some critical information to leak out regarding the company's handling of internal complaints related to gender discrimination. This is big news because these details rarely make it out into the public eye ever -- regardless of the company.

According to the information from this lawsuit, from 2010 to 2016, Microsoft received 118 complaints from employees internally about gender discrimination. These complaints were related to women being denied raises or promotions. You would think given the sheer number of complaints that a handful of them would be addressed by Microsoft. But actually, only one of the 118 complaints was deemed "founded" by Microsoft.

The number of complaints was called "shocking" and the response by Microsoft was described as "lackluster." It is possible that the lawsuit, which was filed in 2015, that is related to this information could go class action. If it does, it is expected to cover 8,000 women.

Even though the number of complaints that were acted upon by Microsoft is paltry and pathetic, the lesson to take from this story is that you should always follow the appropriate guidelines and processes when filing an internal complaint at your employer. By doing things "by the book" you give yourself greater standing in the long run should a civil lawsuit be necessary to uphold your discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or any employment law claim.

Source: Reuters, "Microsoft women filed 238 discrimination and harassment complaints," Dan Levine, March 12, 2018

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