US Labor Dept scrapped almost done deal with Microsoft on pay, promotions for women, wants tougher rules

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The US Labor Department has been working to resolve claims that Microsoft discriminated against women on the job, but negotiations have hit a snag.

The Labor Department in July nearly did a deal until they turned an about face in an undisclosed deal without admitting to claims. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta had concerns that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program was letting them off too easy. The pay issue has been going on for at least a decade according to the auditors, and Microsoft is seeking a resolution with the agency.

The OFCCP follow well-established procedures with regard to compliance reviews and is acting as pay sheriff in the Technology and Financial sectors today. To reach an agreement Labor will finalize the deal but have now complicated negotiations to complete and they don’t want it to go to court according to the department.

“Microsoft is committed to a diverse workforce, and to a workplace where every employee has the opportunity to succeed,” – Microsoft Spokesperson

There is no clear path forward and it didn’t help with Ondray Harris leaving the role in July and couldn’t discuss anything other than give caution that actual discrimination isn’t about the statistical disparity in pay and hiring data.

“When OFCCP believes it found something, you can’t take that to mean something was actually there,” Harris said. “Oftentimes, these things can go on for years and it becomes a battle of experts.”

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.