Women engineers who claim Microsoft Corp. discriminates against them for pay and promotions faced tough questions from a federal appeals court weighing whether their ground-breaking lawsuit should become a class action.
The lawsuit against Microsoft is the first in a series of gender-pay-disparity cases against big technology companies to reach an appeals court over the question of class-action status.
The three plaintiffs want to represent about 8,630 peers who have worked for the company since 2012. Pursuing the case on behalf a large group would give the women much stronger leverage in settlement negotiations before a trial.
Women employees at Twitter Inc. lost their bid for class-action status in July 2018 in San Francisco state court. Similar cases against Oracle Inc. and Google are pending.