Microsoft has a rocky history with sexism and sexual harassment, and the company has begun to open up and clamp down in recent years. However, a report by Newsweek makes it clear that progress is slow.
According to the publication, emails from a sex trafficking sting in 2015 feature Amazon and Microsoft employees. The record comes from a request to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, and also contains 63 emails from Amazon addresses.
The employees allegedly used company emails to verify their identity to pimps, and reply that the email has been sent to the wrong person to deflect suspicion. They would then pay sex workers for anything from girlfriend experience to massages.
A Tiny Portion
Microsoft, of course, condemned its employee’s actions, saying to Newsweek:
“Microsoft has a long history of cooperating with law enforcement and other agencies on combating sex trafficking and related topics, and we have employees who volunteer their time and money specifically to combat this issue as well. The personal conduct of a tiny fraction of our 125,000 employees does not in any way represent our culture. No organization is immune to the unfortunate situation when employees act unethically or illegally. When that happens, we look into the conduct and take appropriate action. Microsoft makes it clear to our employees they have a responsibility to act with integrity and conduct themselves in a legal and ethical manner at all times. If they don’t, they risk losing their jobs.”
Amazon said that it’s investigating and pointed to its owner’s manual, which strictly condemns such activities.
However, authorities hold that this is just a tiny portion of the picture. The emails came from only a handful of brothels in Silicon Valley’s 700 brothels. Many of them employ Asian women, who service up to 15 men a day and often have debt or fear for their lives.
Other companies caught in the sex trafficking bust include Boeing, T-Mobile, and Oracle. Newsweek did not identify the men, but a lawyer for several Microsoft employees said they have not been charged.