Monday, July 15, 2024

Microsoft to Pay $14.2 Million Settlement for Punishing Employees on Protected Leave


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  • Microsoft will pay $14.2 million to settle allegations of discrimination against employees taking protected leave.
  • The settlement follows an investigation by California’s Civil Rights Department.
  • The settlement includes compensation for affected workers and steps to prevent future discrimination.

In a landmark decision, Microsoft has agreed to a $14.2 million settlement to resolve claims that it discriminated against employees who took legally protected leave.

This settlement comes after a thorough investigation by California’s Civil Rights Department (CRD), which began in 2020 and focused on potential violations of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Investigation Findings

The investigation revealed that Microsoft employees who took protected leave—such as family care, disability, and pregnancy leave—were unfairly punished.

These employees reportedly received lower bonuses and unfavorable performance reviews, which affected their eligibility for merit increases, stock awards, and promotions.

This discriminatory practice negatively impacted the career progression of these employees, including women and individuals with disabilities.

Scope of the Impact

With around 6,700 employees in California, Microsoft’s practices affected about 3% of its total workforce of 221,000 globally.

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The CRD highlighted that Microsoft failed to prevent this discrimination, thereby hampering the career advancement of many of its workers.

Settlement Agreement

Under the settlement, Microsoft will provide direct relief to impacted workers and implement measures to safeguard against future discrimination.

CRD Director Kevin Kish praised Microsoft for agreeing to make necessary changes to protect workers in California, ensuring a more equitable workplace.

The settlement includes:

  • $14.2 million to cover direct compensation for affected employees.
  • An additional $225,000 will cover the costs of the CRD’s enforcement efforts.

Who is Eligible?

Individuals who took protected leave and worked at Microsoft in California between May 2017 and the settlement’s approval date may be eligible for compensation.

This decision aims to provide justice to those who face discrimination and prevent such issues from arising.

A Positive Step Forward

This settlement marks a significant step towards ensuring fair treatment for all employees. By addressing these issues and agreeing to make changes, Microsoft sets a precedent for other companies to follow, promoting a more inclusive and supportive work environment.

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Microsoft’s $14.2 million settlement is crucial to rectifying past wrongs and establishing better practices for the future.

This case highlights the importance of protecting employee rights and ensuring fair treatment, regardless of their need to take protected leave.

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Emily Parker
Emily Parker
Emily Parker is a seasoned tech consultant with a proven track record of delivering innovative solutions to clients across various industries. With a deep understanding of emerging technologies and their practical applications, Emily excels in guiding businesses through digital transformation initiatives. Her expertise lies in leveraging data analytics, cloud computing, and cybersecurity to optimize processes, drive efficiency, and enhance overall business performance. Known for her strategic vision and collaborative approach, Emily works closely with stakeholders to identify opportunities and implement tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of each organization. As a trusted advisor, she is committed to staying ahead of industry trends and empowering clients to embrace technological advancements for sustainable growth.

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