Taking Leave at Microsoft: Is There a Problem?

Many company employees have mentioned that they had been discriminated against taking protected leaves, including parental and disability leaves. Now, the global software giant has agreed to pay a $14.4 million fine to settle the allegations. The news was shared by the California Civil Rights Department on Wednesday. 

The agency also mentioned that the people who took leave due to pregnancy or disability to bond with their newborn or to care for a loved one received significantly lower bonuses and quite unfavourable performance reviews. It significantly affected the employee’s eligibility for merit pay increases and promotions. Moreover, the practice disproportionately affected Women and people with disabilities. 

The director of the Civil Rights Agency, Kevin Kish, had many good things to say about the company “for coming to the table and agreeing to make the changes necessary to protect workers in California.” Microsoft also commented on the development and said, “Allegations are inaccurate, but it will continue to listen, learn, and support our employees.

Now, as a part of the settlement made by Microsoft, the company has assured the authorities that it will take the right steps to prevent such discrimination from happening again. An outside consultant will monitor and report on Microsoft’s compliance. 

Most of the $14.4 million settlement money will go to the harmed workers. It will cover employees who worked at Microsoft in California from May 13, 2017, to a yet-to-be-decided date by the court. The settlement money will also be given to any employee who took leave protected under state or federal law. Each employee will get $1500 as base pay and additional payment depending on their salary bracket and duration in the company.

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