As reported by the Seattle Times, investigators at the U.S. Labor Department alerted Microsoft in mid-2016 that they “had found preliminary evidence of gender-based discrimination at the company,” a revelation that was made in documents filed in the current lawsuit Lieff Cabraser and Outten & Golden against the company for systemic gender discrimination relating to pay and promotions.
Kelly Dermody, a Lieff Cabraser partner and one of the attorneys for three women suing Microsoft for alleged gender discrimination, noted that the federal agency had issued “notice of violation” documents to Microsoft in May and June. While not addressing the substance of the violation notices, Microsoft has stated that it disagrees with their conclusions.
Filed last year, the lawsuit presents claims that Microsoft pay and promotion practices discriminate against women in technical and engineering roles. The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status.
As the Times notes, “notices of violation like those Microsoft received are issued when investigators find an ample evidentiary record supporting a finding of discrimination in violation of the law, but they are preliminary and not themselves a final indication of wrongdoing.” A Labor Department spokesman confirmed that the agency has an open investigation of Microsoft, but declined to comment further.
About the Microsoft Gender Case
The class action complaint alleges that Microsoft has engaged in systemic and pervasive discrimination against female employees in technical and engineering roles with respect to performance evaluations, pay, promotions, and other terms and conditions of employment. The complaint further alleges that the disadvantage to female technical employees in pay and promotion is not isolated or exceptional, but rather the predictable result of Microsoft’s policies and practices and lack of proper accountability measures to ensure fairness, and that Microsoft has implemented these policies and practices despite knowing that they have a long-standing disparate impact on female technical employees.
Learn more about the Moussouris v. Microsoft Corporation employment discrimination lawsuit.
About Kelly Dermody
The Chair of Lieff Cabraser’s employment practice group and Managing Partner of Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office, Ms. Dermody supervises many of the most significant and challenging employment lawsuits in our nation today, including cases challenging gender and race discrimination by top Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and Fortune 100 firms; wage suppression claims against technology, healthcare, and academic institutions; overtime and lost pay lawsuits for low-wage workers, I/T professionals, and foreign nationals working for American corporations; and ERISA claims that she has tried on behalf of employees and retirees for pension plan abuses.