The IT sector, and in particular software companies, is not immune from legal woes.
Just ask Microsoft.
The software giant filed for bankruptcy in January and is currently embroiled in a class-action lawsuit filed by employees who say the company retaliated against them for expressing dissatisfaction with a new product or for working on software projects that went unsold.
The case has been going on for nearly a year.
At least 20 employees have been fired for voicing their displeasure with Microsoft’s new software suite.
This week, Microsoft announced it will hire more than 150 new lawyers in response to the class action suit, which was filed by more than 100 employees who filed the suit in January.
The company has said it has hired over 1,500 lawyers in the U.S. and abroad to defend itself in the suit.
A spokesperson for Microsoft said that while the company was not able to comment on individual litigation cases, the lawyers were selected to help Microsoft defend itself against the claims.
Microsoft is a leader in the IT sector.
The world’s largest software company has been a leader for decades in providing software solutions to businesses and consumers.
However, in the last few years, Microsoft’s software suite has faced an onslaught of lawsuits and is now facing an existential threat from another industry.
In May, the New York Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against Microsoft in New York State Supreme Court in a lawsuit over the company’s treatment of its software engineers.
In the lawsuit, the AG alleges that Microsoft discriminated against its software developers in the hiring process.
Microsoft’s lawyers have said that the AG’s lawsuit is not the result of a vendetta.
In a letter, a Microsoft spokesperson said the lawsuit was “a mistake,” and that it would vigorously defend itself.
The letter was signed by Mark Curran, general counsel for Microsoft’s global legal team, and said that Microsoft was “reviewing its legal options in the coming weeks.”
The lawsuit also accused Microsoft of retaliating against one of its most senior software engineers, who is now a Microsoft executive.
According to the lawsuit filed in the New Jersey Supreme Court, Microsoft fired David Egan, who had worked for Microsoft since 2005, in 2015 after he criticized the company for its management of the Windows 10 operating system.
Egan complained about the software company’s management of its Windows team.
According, the lawsuit says, “When he did not agree with Microsoft leadership’s management style, Microsoft retaliated by terminating Egan and removing him from his position.”
The New Jersey lawsuit says that Egan was fired for “lack of support for Microsoft.”
In a statement to CNBC, Egan said that he was “not surprised” that Microsoft fired him because he had been working for the company and not Microsoft.
He said that despite being an employee for almost five years, he never got the opportunity to be an advocate for Microsoft.
In January, Microsoft filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Microsoft has also been sued by a number of employees who have complained that their contracts were not renewed because of the company-wide termination of the software engineers’ contracts.
In response, Microsoft said it would pay back the $100 million that it paid out to the engineers, and that the company had “received a significant number of complaints” about the termination.
Microsoft had to file for bankruptcy protection in January after its chief financial officer, Brad Smith, resigned over allegations of sexual harassment.
Smith was accused of asking employees to perform oral sex on him.
Microsoft was also sued by former software engineer Jessica Leibowitz, who accused the company of retaliated after she complained to her supervisor about her dissatisfaction with the company.
Microsoft fired Leibowksy in December after she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
In February, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that there was no “one answer” to how the company handled sexual harassment complaints, and he promised to hire more legal help.