Microsoft has been cleared of any wrongdoing following an investigation by the US Labour Department into their plans to double the number of its Black managers and senior leaders in the U.S. over the next five years.
The investigation has now been closed after the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs says they were satisfied with the response Microsoft delivered to their requests to prove that their diversity hiring plans complied with antidiscrimination laws. “Microsoft and Wells Fargo responded to the inquiries with in-depth descriptions, materials, and data. OFCCP was satisfied with the response, and the inquiries are closed,” a Labor Department spokesman said.
Microsoft pledged to increase the number of black managers and senior leaders in the wake of the George Floyd killing and the greater push for racial justice which followed.
The investigation was felt by many to be a counter-reaction by the Trump administration with the action taken by then director Craig Leen, who was appointed in 2018 and left in January 2021.
“Although contractors must establish affirmative-action programs to set workforce utilization goals for minorities and women based on availability, contractors must not engage in discriminatory practices in meeting these goals,” Mr. Leen wrote in the correspondence to Wells Fargo dated Sept. 29, 2020.
Leen was replaced by Jenny Yang, a former commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during the Obama administration.
Microsoft has always said they were confident their practices and plans did not break anti-discrimination laws, saying:
“We have every confidence that Microsoft’s diversity initiative complies fully with all U.S. employment laws. We have decades of experience and know full well how to appropriately create opportunities for people without taking away opportunities from others.”