Microsoft Settles $14 Million Lawsuit Over Leave Discrimination

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Microsoft Corporation has agreed to pay $14 million to settle accusations by the California Civil Rights Department.
Microsoft Corporation has agreed to pay $14 million to settle accusations by the California Civil Rights Department.

Microsoft Corp. has agreed to pay $14 million to settle claims from the California Civil Rights Department that it illegally penalized employees who took medical or family leave.

The accusations include retaliation against California-based employees who used parental, disability, pregnancy, and family-care leave since 2017.

These actions allegedly resulted in lower performance review scores, suppressed pay, denied promotions, and altered career trajectories, disproportionately affecting women and people with disabilities.

Settlement Details:

The settlement, which requires approval from a state judge, follows a multiyear investigation by the Civil Rights Department.

While Microsoft has denied any wrongdoing, a spokesperson emphasized the company’s commitment to supporting employees who need leave and ensuring their professional and personal growth.

Broader Context of Civil Rights Settlements:

The California Civil Rights Department has secured several significant settlements in recent years, primarily related to sex discrimination cases. Notable examples include:

  • A $100 million settlement with Riot Games in 2021.
  • A $54 million settlement with Activision Blizzard last year.
  • Last month, a $15 million settlement was made with Snap, Snapchat’s parent company.

Microsoft’s Response and Future Measures:

In response to the allegations, Microsoft has agreed to several measures to prevent future discrimination, including:

  • Hiring an independent consultant to review company policies.
  • Ensuring non-discriminatory practices for employees taking leave.
  • Providing training for managers and human resources personnel.
  • Establishing mechanisms for employees to raise complaints.

Impact and Implications:

The exact number of employees who will benefit from the settlement is unclear. Microsoft employs approximately 6,700 workers in California.

Kevin Kish, the director of the Civil Rights Department, stated that the settlement aims to provide direct relief to affected workers and prevent future discrimination within the company.

James Adam

James Adam, a noted business writer for CEO Times Magazine, specializes in insightful industry analysis and executive profiles. Known for his clear, concise style, James offers readers an expert perspective on global business trends and market dynamics.

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