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Microsoft responds to Labor Department probe over diversity policy

The tech giant has been working towards diversifying upper management and insists it remains within the boundaries of employment law.

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Historically, board rooms and upper management in the world’s largest tech firms have been whiter than an 18-wheeler full of baking soda. In an effort to diversify their leadership to better represent their own workforce and customers, Microsoft has recently been making changes to hiring policies and employee training. More recently, the United States Labor Department has been probing the Washington-based tech giant to ensure compliance with Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Microsoft made the probe public today, along with an announcement that they are working within the guidelines set forth for government contractors.

In a blog post published today, Microsoft disclosed that the Department of Labor contacted them in regards to pledges first published back in June. The pledges were centered around plans to invest in diversifying their workforce and strengthening local communities. Allegedly, the Labor Department probe is directed at the language that Microsoft used relating to the goal of doubling the number of black employees in management by 2025 and how this could potentially be in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  

The Labor Department probe of Microsoft comes on the heels of a White House move to block anti-racism training within federal agencies and federal contractors. The executive order gives the government the power to cancel contracts with firms found to be organizing training related to racial diversity, sexual identity, or gender identity.

In its statement, Microsoft said:

The Labor Department has not yet made any comments on Microsoft’s statement.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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