A recent Microsoft employee email chain reveals women sharing incidents of discrimination and sexual harassment, and now the company’s top human resources executive is acting. Microsoft’s senior leadership is investigating all claims. This is not the first time the tech giant has come under fire for sexual harassment. In 2018, a class-action lawsuit claimed that 238 discrimination and sexual harassment complaints were handled by the company in a lackluster manner. Between 2010 and 2016, 108 female employees made allegations of sexual harassment, while 119 stated they were victims of gender discrimination. Three women said they experienced pregnancy discrimination, and eight women claimed they were retaliated against because they complained about their work situations. The lawsuit also described the atmosphere at Microsoft as a boy’s club.
Inquiry Leads to Email Chain
The email chain began on March 20, when a female employee who had been stuck in the same job for six years inquired about how to move up in the Microsoft organization. That is when dozens of women began replying, describing their own experiences of discrimination and sexual harassment. One woman claimed she was given simple tasks on one project that included booking hotel rooms and taking notes at meetings. Another woman claimed she was on a business trip with a man working for a partner company who threatened to kill her if she did not perform sexual acts. When she reported the incident to Human Resources (HR), she was told the man was just flirting, and there was nothing they could do since he did not work for Microsoft.
A senior level female employee who earned the title of Microsoft Partner claimed that she was once asked to sit on the lap of another employee in a meeting in front of colleagues and HR. When she objected and cited company policy, the man making the request said he did not have to listen to the policy and repeated his request that she sit on his lap. Employees commented that they found the thread empowering and enlightening.
Use of Derogatory Names
Apparently, using derogatory language at Microsoft toward female employees occurred often. Women on the thread claimed the use of derogatory names against them was pervasive at the company. A female engineer who had worked at other major companies said this was not something she experienced elsewhere, but it was common at Microsoft.
Human Resources Responds
The female head of HR at Microsoft is taking the claims made on the email thread very seriously. She and the senior leadership team were sad and appalled that employees were dealing with these issues. She informed those who suffered these demeaning experiences to contact her directly, so that she can investigate the situation personally.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Help Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
If you or a loved one was a victim of workplace sexual harassment, you need the services of the experienced Cherry Hill employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Located in Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve individuals throughout South Jersey. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999 today.