Microsoft to Settle Retaliation Claims for $14.4M

Microsoft to Settle Retaliation Claims for $14.4M

Felipe Ramirez
2 min read

Microsoft Settles Retaliation Claims for $14.4 Million

Microsoft has agreed to a settlement of $14.4 million to resolve claims of retaliating against employees who took protected leave from 2017 to the present. The California Civil Rights Department announced this impending settlement, which is subject to approval by a state judge and will benefit California workers who took parental, family care-taking, or disability leave. The allegations involved discriminatory practices that disproportionately affected women and people with disabilities in terms of bonuses and promotions. Microsoft, which has 6,700 employees in California out of a total workforce of 221,000, will take steps to ensure compliance, including manager training and monitoring by APTMetrics to prevent future retaliation. Despite its efforts to address harassment and discrimination, employees have reported concerns about retaliation after requesting protected leave. Although Microsoft disputes the agency’s claims, it has not yet provided an official comment on the matter.

Key Takeaways

  • Microsoft agrees to pay $14.4 million to settle retaliation claims related to protected leave.
  • Settlement addresses discriminatory impacts on women and people with disabilities in promotions and bonuses.
  • Compliance measures to include manager training and monitoring by APTMetrics.
  • California workers who took protected leave from 2017 will benefit from the settlement.
  • Microsoft disputes the claims but has not provided an official comment.


Microsoft's $14.4 million settlement could signify a significant cultural shift within the corporation, affecting not only its 6,700 California employees but also its global workforce. This move underscores the ongoing scrutiny of tech giants' employment practices, particularly concerning diversity and inclusion. The financial implications include a direct payout and potential investor skepticism. While enhanced training and monitoring may mitigate legal risks, public perception and employee morale remain critical. This case might set a precedent for other tech firms facing similar allegations, reshaping industry standards on employee rights and corporate accountability.

Did You Know?

  • Protected Leave:
    • Explanation: Protected leave refers to time off from work that is legally safeguarded under various employment laws, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in the United States. This type of leave is typically granted for reasons such as parental leave, family care-taking, or disability, and employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who take such leave.
  • California Civil Rights Department:
    • Explanation: The California Civil Rights Department (CRD), formerly known as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), is a state agency responsible for enforcing California's civil rights laws. It investigates and prosecutes claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
  • APTMetrics:
    • Explanation: APTMetrics is a consulting firm specializing in human resource management, organizational development, and diversity and inclusion. They provide services such as training, compliance monitoring, and evaluation of HR practices. In the context of this settlement, APTMetrics will be responsible for monitoring Microsoft's compliance with the new measures to prevent future retaliation against employees on protected leave.

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