Microsoft is reportedly investigating multiple sexual harassment claims made by employees which were previously “overlooked” by human resources.
According to Quartz, over 90 pages of company emails document “stories of sexual harassment and discrimination,” which have now gained the attention of Microsoft executives.
“Dozens of women” reportedly “shared their own frustrations about discrimination and sexual harassment, detailing allegations ranging from sexist comments during work trips to being told to sit on a coworker’s lap in front of a human resources leader.”
“One female Microsoft employee alleged that during a work trip an employee of a partner company threatened to kill her if she did not perform implied sexual acts,” Quartz reported, adding that when the employee reported the incident to HR, her manager told her that “it sounds like he was just flirting,” and she should “get over it.”
Another employee alleged that female employees were frequently called bitches by others at the company.
“As a Microsoft Partner, was asked to sit on someone’s lap twice in one meeting in front of HR and other executives,” claimed one employee. “I can assure you that nothing was done. I alone objected and cited Microsoft policy. The person said that he did not have to listen and repeated the request a second time. No one said anything.”
Despite many of the employees complaining that human resources and management did nothing in response to their complaints, Microsoft’s Head of Human Resources, Kathleen Hogan, claimed that she had brought up the emails to executives.
“I discussed this thread with the [senior leadership team] today. We are appalled and sad to hear about these experiences. It is very painful to hear these stories and to know that anyone is facing such behavior at Microsoft. We must do better,” Hogan declared. “I would like to offer to anyone who has had such demeaning experiences including those who felt were dismissed by management or HR to email me directly. I will personally look into the situation with my team.”
Last year, it was reported that Microsoft had received 238 discrimination and sexual harassment complaints between 2010 and 2016.
Microsoft is not the only Big Tech company to face a wave of sexual harassment and misconduct complaints recently, with thousands of Google employees staging worldwide protests last November in response to the company’s handling of those accused.