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Microsoft makes its data about sexual harassment claims public

Pennsylvania residents may be interested to learn that Microsoft has released data about its internal investigations of sexual harassment complaints. According to information originally part of a company email to Microsoft employees, the company received 83 complaints in 2017 from within its U.S. workforce of over 65,000 people.

Among these complaints, company investigations affirmed the validity of close to half of them. Terminations of employees for misconduct resulted from over half of the cases that the company found to be legitimate complaints. In the same year, Microsoft processed 84 complaints arising from accusations of gender discrimination. The company's Chief People Officer said that about 10 percent of those cases appeared to be at least partially legitimate.

The public disclosure appears to be related to a current lawsuit against the company that alleges women experienced widespread discrimination in regards to compensation and promotions. This lawsuit has been working its way through the federal courts since 2015. According to court filings, 118 gender discrimination complaints made between 2010 and 2016 only resulted in the company recognizing the validity of one of them.

When an internal company investigation of a sexual harassment complaint dissatisfies a victim, other legal avenues may be available. An attorney could review the evidence to see if it supports accusations of illegal conduct. Initially, an attorney might contact the employer and strive to resolve the matter. Otherwise, to protect the person's rights, legal counsel could prepare a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and assemble a lawsuit against the employer. These efforts could enable a victim to put an end to unwanted sexual advances or pursue a financial settlement for mistreatment, career damage or job termination.

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