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Microsoft 'retaliated' against employees who took paid vacation - now they'll be paid more than $14 million

Microsoft 'retaliated' against employees who took paid vacation - now they'll be paid more than $14 million
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Microsoft will pay $14.4 million to settle a case in California over allegations of retaliation against employees who took legally protected time off.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has already announced the proposed settlement. After approval by a state judge, almost all the money will go to California employees who took leave to care for a child, family member, or disability leave from 2017 to present and who chose to participate in the settlement.

The Department stated that "Microsoft's challenged policy and practice have a negative discriminatory impact based on gender and disability." Employees reported feeling concern about retaliation after requesting protected leave.

According to the complaint, Microsoft does not do enough to prevent managers from considering protected leave when evaluating an employee's "impact." This factor is used to calculate annual bonuses, promotions, stock rewards, and merit increases. Microsoft, headquartered in Redmond, Washington, employs about 6,700 people from California out of a total of 221,000.

As part of the global agreement, Microsoft will conduct training for direct supervisors and second-level supervisory staff of California employees, as well as for HR personnel dealing with bonuses and merit increases. Leaders will also receive guidance not to take protected leave into account when making "impact" decisions. APTMetrics consultants will be responsible for compliance monitoring.

At the same time, under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has sought to diversify its leadership team and become more sensitive to issues related to harassment and discrimination. The percentage of women at the partner, manager, and director levels has increased over the years. According to the company's latest diversity report, in 2023, women made up 31.2% of the Microsoft workforce, up from 27.6% in 2019. In 2022, after a shareholder vote, Microsoft announced it would review its rules regarding sexual harassment and gender discrimination after a third-party report identified issues with the company's complaint handling.

Source: nbcwashington

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