Microsoft settles California worker furlough investigation for $14 million

Microsoft settles California worker furlough investigation for $14 million
Microsoft settles California worker furlough investigation for $14 million

Microsoft Corp has agreed to pay $14 million to settle a California agency’s allegations that it illegally penalized workers who took medical or family leave, the agency said Wednesday.

The California Department of Civil Rights has accused the tech giant of retaliating against its California-based employees who took parental, disability, pregnancy and family care leave since 2017 by denying them raises, promotions and stock awards.

These workers, who were disproportionately women and people with disabilities, received lower performance evaluation ratings that in turn suppressed their pay and promotion opportunities and altered their career trajectories, the department said.

The settlement, which must be approved by a state judge, would end a years-long investigation by the civil rights department, the agency said.

Microsoft denied wrongdoing in the settlement agreement.

The state’s Department of Civil Rights has announced a series of major settlements in recent years, mostly in gender discrimination cases. These include a $100 million settlement with video game maker Riot Games in 2021, a $54 million settlement with Activision Blizzard last year and, last month, a $15 million settlement with Snapchat, Snap’s parent company.

The agency accused Microsoft of discrimination based on sex and disability and of obstructing workers’ right to take leave.

It was not clear how many workers would benefit from the settlement. Microsoft, headquartered in Redmond, Washington, employs about 6,700 people in California, according to court filings.

Kevin Kish, director of the civil rights division, said in a statement that Microsoft failed to support workers when they needed time to care for themselves and their families.

“The settlement announced today will provide direct relief to affected workers and will help prevent future discrimination within the company,” Mr Kish said.

In addition to the $14.4 million payment, Microsoft has agreed to hire an independent consultant to ensure that the company’s policies do not discriminate against workers who take time off and that employees are able to file complaints. (Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York. Writing by Alexia Garamfalvi and Matthew Lewis)



PREV Annalena Baerbock defended by ministry for short-haul flight
NEXT Prosecutor’s Office Requests Indictment of Benoît Jacquot for Rape