SEATTLE (AP) _ A U.S. District Court judge has denied class-action status in a case alleging that Microsoft Corp. discriminates against employees based on race and gender.

However, the plaintiffs will still be able to pursue individual discrimination claims under the ruling released Friday by District Judge Marsha Pechman.

The ruling stems from discrimination cases filed on behalf of Monique Donaldson, Ronald A. Douglas, Landruff E. Trent and Janice Harris.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs could not immediately be reached by telephone for comment.

Microsoft said it was pleased with the ruling and would try to be even more committed to promoting diversity in its work force.

Microsoft also faces separate allegations of race discrimination in a lawsuit filed in January in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.