Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. (Getty)
  • Microsoft in June said it plans to double the number of black and African American leaders within the company by 2025.
  • The company disclosed on Tuesday that it received a letter from the Department of Labour stating that the goal "appears to imply employment action may be taken on the basis of race," which would violate employment protections stipulated in the Civil Rights Act.
  • "We have every confidence that Microsoft's diversity initiative complies fully with all US employment laws," Microsoft said in the blog post announcing the letter.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Microsoft on Tuesday said it was contacted last week by the Department of Labour about whether its plan to double the number of black managers, senior leaders, and individual employees in the US by 2025 violates employment laws against discrimination laid out in the Civil Rights Act.

Microsoft said the agency's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs sent the company a letter last week stating the goals appear to "imply that employment action may be taken on the basis of race" and asked Microsoft to prove otherwise.

"We have every confidence that Microsoft's diversity initiative complies fully with all US employment laws," Microsoft said in the blog post announcing the letter.

Microsoft in June said it plans to increase the number of black and African-American leaders within the company by devoting an additional $150 million (R2.5 billion) to diversity and inclusion efforts.

Microsoft also said it would double the number of black- and African-American-owned suppliers the company works with over the next three years, and plans to spend $500 million with those suppliers.

The company in its November diversity report said 2.7% of its executives and 4.5% of its employees are black/African-American. The company declined to comment on how many black and African-American leaders it employed or suppliers it worked with as of June when it announced the plans.

Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.

Get the best of our site emailed to you daily: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa:

  • Rain banned from claiming ‘unlimited data 24/7' on 5G due to inconsistent connections
  • Ndabeni-Abrahams says her WhatsApp messages were hacked - here's what we know
  • Trump's doctor won't breathe a 'deep sigh of relief' for another week
  • Students can't pay extra for tuition and housing because academic year ends in 2021, govt rules
  • Hidden location, password entry and a R360 cocktail - inside Cape Town’s secret bar