Local man wins lawsuit against Microsoft - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Local man wins lawsuit against Microsoft

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"I feel like I've been treading water and holding my breath for almost four and a half years," said Michael Mercieca.

He let out a sigh of relief as the verdict was handed down in Travis County's 353rd Civil District Court on May 7th.

Michael said, "That was actually four years to the day, that this false allegation and report was filed by this lady."

In 2009, a colleague at the Microsoft corporation filed a sexual harassment complaint against him.

"I filed my formal complaint against the managers, not against this particular individual, and within 18 days of me filing the formal complaint....with my HR department, suddenly, out of nowhere, this complaint of sexual harassment and retaliation emerged against me," said Michael.

Michael insists he never had a romantic relationship with the colleague who lodged the complaint against him.

But admits, he had had relations with one of his managers.

Paul Morin said, "The management team went after him by going to her to get her to file her sexual harassment complaint and complaint of retaliation against him."

Paul Morin and Roy Pollack filed Michael's 2011 lawsuit against Microsoft.

He was forced to work from home and eventually resigned in 2012.

"This was the death of a salesman," said Paul. "The jury was just outraged, outraged that Microsoft knew she was lying, the proof was there that she was lying and they brought this liar to court."

The total amount awarded by the jury is $11,623,064.24. But Texas law will cap that amount at about $300,000. All Told, Mercieca could get just under a million dollars which includes back pay. But a judge has to approve the final settlement.

A Microsoft spokesman also told FOX 7: "The jury found for Microsoft on two of the three claims in this case and we look forward to appealing the single item where it didn't. The plaintiff sought $25 million and even if he is successful on appeal the law will limit his recovery to less than $1 million."

Money aside, Mercieca wanted to clear his name.

"I was bullied as a child, that's why I took up Judo," said Michael. "No fight I've had, no fight I've had, at the national or world level was as tough as this. I'm also the father of a 14-year-old and he lived through some of this with me."

He hopes his case will inspire others to stand up for their rights in the workplace.

"When America sneezes, the world catches a cold. What I mean by that is this; America leads the world in innovation and a lot of progressive things. I don't want America to be the leader in corporate bullying," added Michael.


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