US Labor Division is inspecting Microsoft’s initiative to rent extra Black staff

Microsoft is defending its variety initiatives. 

Angela Lang/CNET

The US Division of Labor is trying into whether or not Microsoft’s objective of doubling the quantity of Black managers, senior particular person contributors and senior leaders within the US by 2025 “might represent illegal discrimination on the idea of race,” the tech big mentioned in a Tuesday blog post. That might violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Final week, the US Division of Labor Workplace of Federal Contract Compliance Packages (OFCCP) reached out to Microsoft relating to variety commitments the corporate made in June “to handle points confronted by the Black and African American neighborhood,” Microsoft normal counsel Dev Stahlkopf mentioned within the weblog submit. As a federal contractor, the tech big is topic to many OFCCP necessities, together with these associated to employment practices.

On June 23, Microsoft mentioned it will make investments an extra $150 million over 5 years in its inside variety and inclusion applications. In its letter, the OFCCP mentioned the initiative “seems to suggest that employment motion could also be taken on the idea of race,” in line with Microsoft. The letter additional requested Microsoft to show its actions aren’t unlawful race-based choices. 

“We’ve each confidence that Microsoft’s variety initiative complies totally with all U.S. employment legal guidelines,” Stahlkopf wrote. “We sit up for offering the OFCCP with this data and, if crucial, defending our strategy.”

Microsoft says it is clear that it is unlawful to discriminate based mostly on race, including: “We even have affirmative obligations as an organization that serves the federal authorities to proceed to extend the variety of our workforce….We’ve many years of expertise and know full effectively the way to appropriately create alternatives for individuals with out taking away alternatives from others.”

The OFCCP did not instantly reply to a request for remark.

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