Florida residents have probably heard of the well-known computer and technology company Microsoft, but they may not have heard about all the workplace troubles taking place inside the company. Part of the reason for that could be the company’s response to alleged experiences of discrimination and sexual harassment.
The female employees who shared their stories found that the company, while not actively trying to cover up instances of wrongdoing, dismissed many troubling claims. The accounts of inappropriate behavior and comments came from a more than 90-page email chain that started on March 20 when one woman asked others how to advance at Microsoft after holding the same position for six years and seeing no avenues to rise higher in the ranks.
Other employees were subject to sexual harassment and had a difficult time getting anyone to take their concerns seriously. In a meeting with executives, one woman reported that she was asked to sit on a coworker’s lap. When she cited company policy about this inappropriate behavior, she was dismissed and asked to sit on the man’s lap again. The whole interaction reportedly took place in front of an HR executive.
The Head of Human Resources at Microsoft has responded to the email chain and promised to look into these accounts. Before this incident, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Microsoft in March 2018 that alleged 238 cases of discrimination or sexual harassment were not handled properly by the company.
One form of sexual harassment that takes place in work settings occurs when an employee is subject to a hostile work environment. Employees have the right to feel safe at work and should not have to endure lewd or sexist comments or repeated come-ons from superiors. Sexual harassment legal assistance may be needed when one experiences a hostile work environment.