National Class Action Lawsuit in Federal Court Charges Violations of
Federal and Local Civil Rights Laws
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Attorneys Adam T. Klein of Outten & Golden LLP and Kelly M. Dermody of
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, announce that a lawsuit filed
today in federal court in Washington alleges that Microsoft has engaged
in systemic and pervasive discrimination against its female professional
The lawsuit, Moussouris v. Microsoft Corp., Case No. 15-cv-01483
(W.D. Wash.), filed by Katie Moussouris, accuses Microsoft of engaging
in a pattern and practice of gender discrimination against its female
technical professionals. Microsoft, a global provider of software and
software-related services, is a major employer, with a headcount of over
117,000 employees in 2015, many of whom are technical employees. In
2014, Microsoft generated $93.6 billion dollars in net revenue and $12.2
billion dollars in net income.
The plaintiff alleges violations of federal and state laws, including
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Washington Law Against
Discrimination. The plaintiff class is represented by Outten & Golden
LLP and Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP.
According to the complaint, “[a]s a result of Microsoft’s policies,
patterns, and practices, female technical employees receive less
compensation and are promoted less frequently than their male
counterparts. Microsoft’s company-wide policies and practices
systematically violate female technical employees’ rights and result in
the unchecked gender bias that pervades its corporate culture.”
Plaintiff Katie Moussouris said, “What happened to me is not unique.
This case will illuminate the broad patterns of decision-making against
women. Fundamentally, this is about fairness and equality.”
“The gender-equality issues raised by this lawsuit are all too familiar
– Microsoft systematically undervalues the efforts and achievements of
its female technical employees. This is an important step in our efforts
to lift the glass ceiling for women working in what once were
traditionally male-dominated professions,” said plaintiff’s attorney
Adam T. Klein of Outten & Golden LLP of New York, New York.
“This case challenges Microsoft’s practice of devaluing its talented
female professionals,” said plaintiff’s attorney Kelly M. Dermody of
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP of San Francisco, California.
“By coming forward, the plaintiff seeks to ensure a level playing
field at one of the most important players in the technology sector.”
The complaint charges that, among other things, Microsoft compensates
its female technical professionals less than similar men,
disproportionately promotes men over equally or more qualified women,
and evaluates female technical professionals less favorably compared to
Attorneys Adam T. Klein, Cara E. Greene, and Ossai Miazad of Outten &
Golden LLP and Kelly M. Dermody, Anne Shaver, and Sharon Lee of Lieff
Cabraser Heimann and Bernstein LLP represent the plaintiffs. The case is Moussouris
v. Microsoft Corp., Case No. 15-cv-01483 (W.D. Wash.).
People interested in the lawsuit may provide information by visiting microsoftgendercase.com
or by calling 1-800-254-3079 to leave a message for plaintiffs’ counsel.
Members of the media can also obtain a copy of the complaint and this
press release by visiting microsoftgendercase.com/court-documents.
About the Plaintiff
Katie Moussouris worked for Microsoft in its Trustworthy Computing Group
in Redmond, Washington, for over seven years. She left Microsoft in 2014
and is now the Chief Policy Officer for HackerOne, a platform provider
for coordinated vulnerability response and structured bounty programs.
She is a noted authority on internet security and promotes education and
security research to help make the internet safer for everyone. Katie’s
earlier Microsoft work encompassed industry-leading initiatives such as
Microsoft’s bounty programs and Microsoft Vulnerability Research. She is
also a subject matter expert for the US National Body of the
International Standards Organization (ISO) in several areas. Katie is a
visiting scholar with MIT’s Sloan School, doing research on the
vulnerability economy. She is a New America Foundation Fellow.
About the Law Firms:
Plaintiff is represented by two law firms: the plaintiffs’ employment
firm Outten & Golden LLP and the national class action firm Lieff,
Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP. These firms also represented female
professionals in the Amochaev v. Smith Barney gender
discrimination case, which resulted in a $33 million settlement, as well
as in the on-going gender discrimination class action against Goldman
Sachs, Chen-Oster v. Goldman Sachs.
Outten & Golden LLP is a 50 attorney firm with offices in New York, San
Francisco and Chicago. O&G represents plaintiffs in a wide variety of
employment law matters, including national class and impact statutory
discrimination cases, major class-based wage and hour violations, and
contract negotiations. O&G represented plaintiff-intervenor Allison
Schieffelin in a pattern or practice sex discrimination suit prosecuted
with the EEOC against Morgan Stanley that resulted in a $54 million
settlement and substantial injunctive relief. It is also lead counsel in Houser,
et al., v. Pritzker, Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce, a
class action lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of thousands of African
American and Latino job seekers, certified by a New York federal court,
alleging that the Census Bureau’s criminal background check had a
disparate impact on African American and Latino applicants for jobs
related to the 2010 census. It has handled discrimination claims against
numerous Fortune 500 firms. More information on the firm can be found at outtengolden.com.
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, is a 60-attorney firm with
offices in San Francisco, Seattle, New York, and Nashville. Lieff
Cabraser has represented plaintiffs in a wide variety of class action
litigation, including employment discrimination and civil rights, wage
suppression, and pension benefits litigation. It has represented many
plaintiffs in litigation against technology companies, including serving
as class counsel in the Silicon Valley no-poaching case, In re
High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, which resulted in
settlements totaling $435 million. More information on the firm can be
found at lieffcabraser.com.
Outten & Golden LLP
Adam Klein, 212-245-1000
Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Kelly Dermody, 415-956-1000