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Microsoft is the latest tech company to face allegations of gender discrimination. A former engineer named Katherine Moussouris filed a proposed class-action lawsuit in Seattle federal court yesterday, saying the company has a “pattern and practice of sex discrimination against female employees in technical and engineering roles.”
In her complaint (PDF), Moussouris says Microsoft’s “stack ranking” system, used until 2013, “force ranks” employees on a 1 to 5 scale, with 20 percent of employees allowed to receive a 1 (the best ranking), 20 percent ranked a 2, 40 percent a 3, 13 percent a 4, and the remaining 7 percent ranked a 5.
“This stack ranking process systematically undervalued female technical employees compared to similarly situated male employees because, among other reasons, it meant that lower ranked employees were inferior and should be paid less and promoted less frequently regardless of their actual contributions to Microsoft,” Moussouris’ lawyers write in the complaint.
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