University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
view search results
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 the following claims: 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 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 such a 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 complaint to resolve the lack of detail in regards 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. The case is ongoing.

Cade Boland - 11/27/2017


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Affected Gender
Female
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 Pending
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  Microsoft Gender Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit
Date: Oct. 14, 2016
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Age Discrimination Class Action seeks Fair Employment for Older PwC Applicants
http://www.pwcagecase.com/
Date: Apr. 27, 2016
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Smith Barney Gender Discrimination
https://www.lieffcabraser.com/employment/smith-barney/
Date: August 2008
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Date: Mar. 1, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law Faculty)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
Date: Apr. 1, 2001
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School Faculty)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:15-cv-01483-JLR (W.D. Wash.)
EE-WA-0132-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/10/2017
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
Judges Robart, James L. (W.D. Wash.)
EE-WA-0132-0003 | EE-WA-0132-0004 | EE-WA-0132-0005 | EE-WA-0132-9000
Monitors/Masters Peterson, Michelle (Washington)
EE-WA-0132-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chomski, Cara B. (New York)
EE-WA-0132-9000
Dermody, Kelly M. (California)
EE-WA-0132-0001 | EE-WA-0132-0002 | EE-WA-0132-9000
Eiland, Katrina L. (California)
EE-WA-0132-0001 | EE-WA-0132-0002 | EE-WA-0132-9000
Geman, Rachel (New York)
EE-WA-0132-9000
Greene, Cara Elizabeth (New York)
EE-WA-0132-0001 | EE-WA-0132-0002
Klein, Adam T. (New York)
EE-WA-0132-0001 | EE-WA-0132-0002 | EE-WA-0132-9000
Lee, Sharon M. (Washington)
EE-WA-0132-0001 | EE-WA-0132-0002 | EE-WA-0132-9000
Levin-Gesundheit, Michael (California)
EE-WA-0132-9000
Miazad, Ossai (New York)
EE-WA-0132-0001 | EE-WA-0132-0002 | EE-WA-0132-9000
Sagafi, Jahan C (California)
EE-WA-0132-0001 | EE-WA-0132-0002
Salahi, Yaman (California)
EE-WA-0132-9000
Shaver, Anne B. (California)
EE-WA-0132-0001 | EE-WA-0132-0002 | EE-WA-0132-9000
Stork, Elizabeth V. (New York)
EE-WA-0132-9000
Subit, Michael C. (Washington)
EE-WA-0132-0002 | EE-WA-0132-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Curtis, Wendy Butler (District of Columbia)
EE-WA-0132-9000
Damrell, Lauri A. (California)
EE-WA-0132-9000
Hermle, Lynne C. (California)
EE-WA-0132-9000
Parris, Mark Steven (Washington)
EE-WA-0132-9000
Perry, Jessica R. (California)
EE-WA-0132-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
view search results
page permalink

- top of page -