AUSTIN (KXAN) — A big case was back in the Austin courts system on Wednesday. A team of lawyers for software giant Microsoft are fighting to overturn a $900,000 jury decision. A former Austin sales executive for the company sued Microsoft for wrongful termination and won back in May.
“Honestly what drove me to actually pursue this was that I was heavily committed to the company and what we stood for,” said Michael Merceica who used to be a tops sales rep for Microsoft. “I was bullied as a child and I don’t tolerate bullying, especially corporate bullying which is what this is.”
Michael Merceica said his ex-girlfriend, Lori Aulds who later became his boss, had plotted with a woman named Tracy Rummel and accused him of sexual harassment in 2009.
Merceica said the court found Rummul guilty of making a false defamatory claim of sexual harassment to him. He said after that the company bullied him and made the workplace unbearable.
He later sued for them wrongly firing him.
The jury’s actual number totaled as much as $11.6 million for all categories of his claims, but statutorily, the maximum amount Microsoft would have to pay is $900,000.
Merceica actually had three claims against Microsoft and was seeking $50 million in damages, but Microsoft won two of the three claims.
Merceica, who worked with Microsoft for 16 years, said he wanted to pursue this because he wants the change the work environment for others.
“The most important thing in my heart is I have a 14-year-old son and I want to create an environment of positive change for when he goes out to work,” said Merceica. “I don’t care if it’s a boy, girl, man or woman. No one should be subjected to this kind of behavior.”
Microsoft said in a statement, “We look forward to presenting our arguments to the Court on why it should dismiss the one claim that survived the jury.”