Microsoft Women Filed 238 Discrimination and Harassment Complaints, Court Documents Show

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

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

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

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 employees at Microsoft filed 238 complaints regarding gender discrimination or sexual harassment, a lawsuit stated.

They have accused Microsoft of running a "common, discriminatory pay and promotions process" that is "unreliable" and "based on invalid criteria", resulting in lower pay and fewer promotions for women. Microsoft denied the claims.

The company's human resources practices were highlighted in the documents made public Monday.

The two sides are exchanging documents ahead of trial, which has not been scheduled.

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The court documents stated only one gender discrimination complaint out of 118 was "founded" by the globe's largest software company. Plaintiff's attorneys countered that the sheer number of complaints was "shocking" and characterized the response by the company as "lackluster".

Companies generally keep information about internal discrimination complaints private, so it is unclear how the number of complaints at Microsoft compares to competitors. 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.

However, Microsoft's opposition to the motion said that it spends $55m a year on "innovative diversity and inclusion programs".

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.

A Microsoft spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment. Microsoft has argued that the number of women's Human Resources complaints must be kept under wraps because publicizing the outcomes could dissuade others from reporting any and all future issues.

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