Last month, a federal judge shot down a move to have a three-year-old gender discrimination lawsuit against Microsoft expanded into a class action case. The case began in 2015, when two high-ranking female employees, one former and one current, sued the company for what they allege was persistent sex discrimination against female tech and engineering employees.
The plaintiffs eventually filed a motion to classify the lawsuit as a class action, which would potentially involve more than 8,600 women in various technical positions throughout the company. The plaintiffs claim they were not only unfairly compensated, but passed over for promotions, exposed to sexual harassment, and penalized for being assertive.
A Culture of Discrimination?
Much of the debate during the hearing centered on the way Microsoft calculates compensation for all employees, and whether these methods suggest company-wide discrimination. Microsoft argued the plaintiffs’ experiences were unique and not endemic to the organization.
In the end, the judge agreed with Microsoft, and found no “typicality” or consistency between the plaintiffs’ claims and widespread corporate discriminatory practices. Microsoft asserts the plaintiffs were compensated and promoted solely based on their skills and job performance.
Although the judge has denied the motion to expand this lawsuit into a class action, the initial gender discrimination lawsuit remains ongoing.
Workplace Sex Discrimination
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the NJLAD (New Jersey Law Against Discrimination) prohibits discrimination at work based on several categories. One of these is gender. This means that employers can not treat workers any differently based on whether they are male or female, or for related conditions associated with gender, including pregnancy and childbirth.
Sex discrimination takes many different forms; some are subtler than others. An employer may decide not to hire a woman who appears to be pregnant, even though she is the best candidate for the position. A man may be paid more for doing the same job as his female colleague.
In some cases, sex discrimination is more overt. If a woman repeatedly asks her coworker to date her, and makes frequent, unwanted physical advances toward him, this is sexual harassment, thus a form of sex discrimination.
What to Do if You Experience Sexual Discrimination
If you believe you are being treated unfairly at work because of your gender, race, religion, sex, or national origin, you should file a complaint with your supervisor as soon as possible. It is also important to contact an experienced Middletown employment lawyer to protect you from retaliation, and provide legal counsel regarding your case.
Middletown Employment Discrimination Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Represent Employers and Workers in Cases of Discrimination
We have been on both sides of discrimination cases, giving us essential perspective and experience to defend your claim. We work with employers to create human resources policies and procedures that protect workers and prevent costly litigation. For victims of discrimination, we work tirelessly to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation. We represent clients throughout New Jersey.