University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Moussouris v. Microsoft Corporation EE-WA-0132
Docket / Court 2:15-cv-01483 ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization Outten & Golden
Case Summary
On September 16, 2015, the plaintiff, a former female technical employee of Microsoft, filed this class action lawsuit in the Western District of Washington against Microsoft Corporation. The plaintiff, represented by Outten & Golden LLP, sued the defendant under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act ... read more >
On September 16, 2015, the plaintiff, a former female technical employee of Microsoft, filed this class action lawsuit in the Western District of Washington against Microsoft Corporation. The plaintiff, represented by Outten & Golden LLP, sued the defendant under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e), and state law. The plaintiff alleged that as a result of defendant’s policies, patterns, and practices, female technical employees received less compensation and were promoted less frequently than their male counterparts. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the force ranking system used by the defendant systematically undervalued female technical employees, resulting in lower pay and fewer promotions than male peers despite equal or better performance.

On October 27, 2015, the plaintiff amended her complaint to include additional named plaintiffs. On November 12, 2015, the defendant moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim on the following: plaintiffs’ disparate treatment claims on the grounds that the plaintiffs failed to allege intent to discriminate by defendant; plaintiffs’ disparate impact claims for failure to allege a causal relationship between the forced ranking system and the alleged disparate impact; and plaintiffs’ retaliation claims for failure to state a prima facie case of retaliation. Defendant also moved to strike plaintiffs’ class definition on the grounds it was not ascertainable and the plaintiffs’ Title VII claims on grounds of timeliness.

On March 7, 2016, the court (Judge James L. Robart) denied defendant’s motion to strike the class definition as it was not implausible on its face and the plaintiffs deserved to develop the facts and/or and definition of their class via class discovery. The court denied the motion to strike Title VII allegations on grounds of timeliness without prejudice as the motion raised a relevant dispute. The court denied the motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ disparate treatment claims as the plaintiffs satisfied the pleading requirements of the claim. The court also denied the motion to dismiss plaintiff’s retaliation claim as the allegations created a plausible inference that the plaintiffs suffered at least one adverse employment action while working for the defendant. However, the Court granted defendant’s motion to dismiss the disparate impact claims as the plaintiffs did not demonstrate sufficient factual allegations to show how the forced ranking system caused a systematic undervaluation of female technical employees. The Court granted plaintiffs thirty days to amend the complaint to resolve the lack of detail with respect to the disparate impact claim. 2016 WL 4472930.

On April 6, 2016, the plaintiffs submitted their second amended complaint, which contained additional factual allegations to support their disparate impact claim. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the disparate impact claims of the second amended complaint on April 25, 2016. On October 14, 2016, the court denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ disparate impact claim, finding the additional facts sufficient to make the plaintiffs’ claims plausible. 2016 WL 6037978.

Over the next year, the parties engaged in class discovery. On October 27, 2017, plaintiffs moved for class certification of female employees in Stock Levels 59-67 working in the Engineering and/or the I/T Operations Professions from September 16, 2012, to the present.

On April 6, 2018 the defendants moved for summary judgement. They argued that the plaintiffs were procedurally barred from bringing their claims due to statute of limitation issues and that they could not establish a proper case for disparate treatment. They also alleged that the named plaintiff's constructive discharge claim failed due to her continuing to work long after the work conditions became allegedly intolerable, and that their retaliation claims failed due to no adverse action being taken against them.

On June 25, 2018, the court denied the plaintiff's class certification in a sealed order. 2018 WL 3328418. The court concluded that the plaintiffs had not affirmatively demonstrated commonality of fact, typicality of claims, or adequate protection of interests among the class. On July 9, 2018, the plaintiffs appealed this ruling to the Ninth Circuit (Docket No. 18-80080).

On July 11, 2018, the court issue an order granting partial summary judgement for the defendants. 2018 WL 3584701. The defendant's motion for summary judgement for the denial of punitive damages under state law was granted, and the rest of their motion was denied, including leaving open the possibility for punitive damages under federal law. Due to identifying information contained within the order it has been sealed. On July 27, 2018, the plaintiffs appealed this order to the 9th Circuit (18-35791).

Both appeals are ongoing.

Cade Boland - 11/27/2017
Carter Powers Beggs - 11/19/2019


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Defendant-type
Retailer
Discrimination-area
Pay / Benefits
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Retaliation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State Anti-Discrimination Law
State law
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Microsoft Corporation
Plaintiff Description Female technical employees of Microsoft.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Outten & Golden
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filing Year 2015
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Microsoft Gender Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit
Date: Oct. 14, 2016
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:15-cv-01483-JLR (W.D. Wash.)
EE-WA-0132-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/23/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
EE-WA-0132-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/16/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order (2016 WL 4472930) (W.D. Wash.)
EE-WA-0132-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/07/2016
Source: Westlaw
Second Amended Class Action Complaint [ECF# 55]
EE-WA-0132-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/06/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order (2016 WL 6037978) (W.D. Wash.)
EE-WA-0132-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/14/2016
Source: Westlaw
Order Appointing Special Master (2017 WL 1652910) (W.D. Wash.)
EE-WA-0132-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 05/02/2017
Source: Westlaw
Order Denying Class Certification [ECF# 508] (W.D. Wash.)
EE-WA-0132-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/06/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 512] (2018 WL 3584701) (W.D. Wash.)
EE-WA-0132-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/11/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Robart, James L. (W.D. Wash.) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-0003 | EE-WA-0132-0004 | EE-WA-0132-0005 | EE-WA-0132-0006 | EE-WA-0132-0007 | EE-WA-0132-9000
Monitors/Masters Peterson, Michelle (Washington) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bien, Rachel Megan (New York) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Chomski, Cara B. (New York) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Danna, Michael C (New York) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Dermody, Kelly M. (California) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-0001 | EE-WA-0132-0002 | EE-WA-0132-9000
Disney, Pamela (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Eiland, Katrina L. (California) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-0001 | EE-WA-0132-0002 | EE-WA-0132-9000
Geman, Rachel (New York) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Greene, Cara Elizabeth (New York) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-0001 | EE-WA-0132-0002
Klein, Adam T. (New York) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-0001 | EE-WA-0132-0002 | EE-WA-0132-9000
Lamy, Michelle A. (California) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Lee, Sharon M. (Washington) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-0001 | EE-WA-0132-0002 | EE-WA-0132-9000
Levin-Gesundheit, Michael (California) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Miazad, Ossai (New York) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-0001 | EE-WA-0132-0002 | EE-WA-0132-9000
Mollica, Paul William (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Sagafi, Jahan C (California) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-0001 | EE-WA-0132-0002
Salahi, Yaman (California) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Shaver, Anne B. (California) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-0001 | EE-WA-0132-0002 | EE-WA-0132-9000
Stork, Elizabeth V. (New York) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Stromberg, Daniel (New York) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Subit, Michael C. (Washington) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-0002 | EE-WA-0132-9000
Zegeye, Tiseme Gabriella (California) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Curtis, Wendy Butler (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Damrell, Lauri A. (California) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Giese, Allison Riechert (California) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Hermle, Lynne C. (California) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Lawson, Megan M (California) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Liburt, Joseph (California) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Mantoan, Kathryn Grzenczyk (Oregon) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Parris, Mark Steven (Washington) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Perry, Jessica R. (California) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Rosenberg, Jill L (New York) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000
Shapiro, Marc R (New York) show/hide docs
EE-WA-0132-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -