Judge denies class-action status to women in Microsoft discrimination case
A federal judge has dealt a blow to women who have accused Microsoft of systematic discrimination against female employees, refusing to certify their class-action lawsuit against the company. The three named plaintiffs in the lawsuit will be able to proceed with their case. But they won't be proceeding as representatives of the broader group of women who—according to the lawsuit—have suffered from unequal pay and degrading treatment in the workplace.
In a class certification motion unsealed in March, three Microsoft employees—Katherine Moussouris, Holly Muenchow, and Dana Piermarini—laid out their evidence that Microsoft's corporate culture is systematically hostile to female employees.
An expert for the women found that after controlling for factors like employees' age, tenure with the company, and scores on performance reviews, women were paid less than men by a statistically significant amount. In total, the plaintiffs estimated that Microsoft had been underpaying women in the proposed class by between $100 million and $238 million.