San Antonio Employment Law Blog

Discrimination verdict forces Microsoft to pay in Texas

When you’re hard at work, the last thing you want is to be fired due to your race, gender, or relationships. Sometimes, these situations can be seen as wrongful termination, and if yours is, you may be able to seek compensation for the wrongful dismissal from your job. Take for instance this case about Microsoft that was posted on May 12. According to the story, Microsoft is now being asked to pay $11.6 million in a discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit.

A civil jury in Texas found that the discharge of a sales executive who was allegedly hounded by a two-year campaign, was launched by his ex-girlfriend who was also his boss. The target in this case was a man who was a 17-year veteran of the company and based in Austin. In 2007, his direct manager changed to a woman that he had previously had a relationship with. He had ended that relationship. She allegedly told him that he ruined sex for her, and despite the fact that he didn’t feel comfortable talking to her about it, she often insisted that he be involved in her relationship disputes, according to the news.

Then, in 2009, she and a marketing consultant that she allegedly slept with devised a plot to say that her ex-boyfriend had sexually harassed her. The marketing consultant passed on that information to her boss, and then to his supervisor. However, instead of taking formal action, it became a hostile workplace for the 17-year veteran of the company. According to the man, they started treating him differently at work, cutting his expense budget, questioning his vacations, and cutting him off from customer communications. He was allegedly criticized and chastised for missing a deadline by three hours. After five months, the man filed a harassment and discrimination complaint within the Human Resources department.

Following all this, his claim was found to be allegedly “unsupported” and the investigation was allegedly ended before all of his supporting witnesses were called. He was demoted, his bonus was cut, and his stock options were lowered. After all was said and done and the lawsuit was filed with the courts, the courts determined that he had been defamed. He was awarded $11,623,064 in back pay and benefits.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Vendetta by Microsoft Leads to $11.6 Million Discrimination Verdict” Larry Bodine, May. 12, 2014

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