Workers throughout California and the rest of the country are supposed to be protected from disparate treatment in the workplace. However, even the nation’s top companies sometimes fail their employees. According to a report from Reuters, there were 238 sexual harassment or gender disparity complaints made by female Microsoft employees between 2010 and 2016. This was revealed as details from a 2015 lawsuit against the company were recently made public. It claims that female workers were passed over for promotions or other opportunities.
Of the 118 gender discrimination claims, the complaint says only one was considered founded by the company. Microsoft says that the number of claims made and considered founded should not be made public as it could discourage others from coming forward. According to Pew Research, 50 percent of women working in tech/math fields say that they have experienced gender discrimination. This is about 10 percent higher than the rate for women in other fields.
Microsoft reportedly spends $55 million a year to create an inclusive workplace culture. In December 2017, however, a female intern claimed that she was sexually assaulted by a male intern. Ultimately, that male intern was hired by the company. It was also reported that dancers dressed like schoolgirls were hired to perform at a conference in 2016.
If employment decisions are based on a worker’s gender, the employer could be violating discrimination laws. The same could be true if a worker is subject to sexual or other types of harassment based on gender. Individuals who are subject to harassment may wish to file a lawsuit against their employer. If successful, a victim could obtain compensation in the form of punitive and other damages.