Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A look at paid parental leave

The site Early Childhood Education Degrees asked us to share this info-graphics about paid parental leave with our readers. It enumerates the many reasons why paid parental leave is so important. That's why we are determined to have shareholders mobilized to require companies (like Microsoft and all its suppliers) provide paid parental leave to all their employees. Contact us if you are a Microsoft shareholder and you want to support our initiative.

Unfair implementation of Microsoft's paid time off requirement? Reaching out to Microsoft integrity Hotline.

Colleagues working along us via a different supplier told us they would only be able to accrue PTO six months from now, that is  in October. We think this is a violation of the requirement and an attempt to deny those employees PTO that should start accruing right now. It's already shocking that all those suppliers waited until the very last moment to implement this requirement, they should not add insult to the injury by trying to abusively postpone even more this implementation. We have sent a complaint (see below) to Microsoft's Business Conduct and Compliance Team but 5 days later we have not received their answer yet (if ever). We have kept mentioning (for now) the name of this supplier. We'll keep you posted. The link to Microsoft's Integrity Hotline:

Dear Business Conduct and Compliance Team,
I am concerned that our colleagues working for the Microsoft App Certification Lab via the supplier XXXX  are being shortchanged as far as the implementation of the PTO requirement is concerned.
From what I have heard they been told (nothing written) that they would be able to start accruing some PTO in six months, in October 2016.
If that is the case, I think XXXX  is in breach of Microsoft requirement that should start to be implemented at the latest on April 1s as the deadline announced by Brad Smith on March 26 2015 was one year.
I am not sure our colleagues know about you nor would dare complain but I do because if what they say is true they are treated unfairly and they would be deprived of 6 months of PTO they should start accruing right away.
Thank you for your concern,
Philippe Boucher

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Microsoft and temps in ... 1997

From the Los Angeles Times of December 9, 1997, this article by Leslie Helm. Are things that different today?

How Experis/Manpower implements Microsoft's PTO requirement

Read below how Experis (Manpower) is going to start implementing on April 1st 2016 the Microsoft's requirement that was announced on March 26, 2015. Notice that the accruing will also only start at this date: you worked years for Experis, that will not count for anything. As for the public holidays Experis used to pay? They are now gone. You'll have to satisfy yourself with the 15 days of PTO. As for Manpower:  "In 2015, ManpowerGroup was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the fifth consecutive year and one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies, confirming our position as the most trusted and admired brand in the industry. See how ManpowerGroup makes powering the world of work humanly possible:": Most ethical, most admired, most trusted... indeed.

Subject: Experis Benefits update beginning April 1, 2016. Please read.
Experis has enriched your benefits plan for 2016 to become effective April 1, 2016.  These changes were announced by the Experis Corporate benefits team via email to your personal account on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.  Please be sure to review that message for full details and any action items.
What does this mean for you?  Some changes, of course.
Effective April 1, 2016 you become eligible to accrue 15 days of PTO (paid time off) when working a full year.  The time accrued can be used as you need:  personal/vacation time, sick days, weather and client/Experis closures (holidays  or other.)  We are also reducing the premiums  for health benefits and offering a mid-year add event if you wish to add Experis Health benefits.  The new PTO accrual rate is 10 hours each month, updated on the final day of the month. I have attached a document with the instructions for using PTO and the new health premium information for your review. 
See the FAQ below to clarify the program.
Q: When is the new plan effective?
A: April 1, 2016.
Q: How many total days of PTO will accrue? 
A: 15 PTO days will accrue in a year.
Q: What is the monthly accrual amount?
A:  10 hours per month, posted on the last day of the month.
Q: When can I use PTO?
A: PTO can be used for time off work, related to being sick, taking personal time/vacation and client holiday or other closures. 
Q: How do I use PTO? 
A: Consultants enter the non-billable hours for PTO into their Peoplesoft timesheets using the PTB code. (See attached Word doc for instructions.)
Q: What happens to holiday pay?
A:  Experis Holiday pay will not automatically be paid out moving forward.  You may use accrued PTO if you wish to be paid for client holiday closures. 
Q: Was I paid for the New Year holiday? 
A: Yes, you were automatically paid the New Year holiday if you were active at that time.  New Year’s was the last Experis holiday to be paid automatically for our Microsoft consultants.
Q: Am I allowed to use PTO before I accrue it (go into a negative balance?)
A: No, you are to use the available PTO balance already accrued in your monthly bank.
Q: Can I carry over my accrual balance from year to year?
A:  Yes
Q: Is there a maximum amount where PTO will stop accruing? 
A: Yes.  Monthly accruals will stop once the 120 hour maximum is reached.  You will not accrue any more PTO until the bank is reduced from 120 hours.
Q: Will unused PTO amounts be paid out at the time of termination?
A: Yes, any remaining balance in your PTO bank will be paid out at the time of termination.
Q: My end date is scheduled mid- month.  Do I still get the full 10 hour monthly accrual?
A: No, but you will get a pro-rated PTO credit.  Same answer for any new hires in a month....

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Melinda Gates expresses (once again) her support for paid parental leave: will it translate into a change of policy to require Microsoft's suppliers to provide paid parental leave?

In the 2016 Gates Foundation annual letter co-written by Bill and Melissa she states: "studies show that when fathers are able to take time off from paid work when their children are born, they spend more time with their kids and doing other kinds of housework for years to come. As a result, they form a stronger bond with their partners and children. That’s one reason why I think access to paid family and medical leave is so important for families."
It's too bad that despite Melissa's concern, a concern we assume is shared by Bill, Microsoft has done nothing (yet?) to make sure its suppliers provide paid parental leave to their employees. Last year Brad Smith announced an 'at least 15 days of paid time off policy". This is an improvement from not one day but this policy does not take into account the needs of new parents as there is no provision for paid parental leave!!! Bill could do the right thing and convince Microsoft to require a paid parental leave policy for their suppliers employees. Another improvement in terms of paid family leave would be to require the suppliers to offer the same paid public holidays leave as Microsoft does. That would bring 12 additional paid days to the people working for Microsoft who need it the most (as they are usually much less paid). That would be practicing what they preach

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Comparing paid parental leave at Microsoft and Lionbridge: 20 weeks vs zero or 140 days vs zero

Screen shot 2016-01-23 at 4.51.55 PM
Watch this video produced by the Department of Labor that compares the paid maternity leave in the US and in Germany. Then replace the US by Lionbridge and Germany by Microsoft. In fact the difference is even greater between Lionbridge and Microsoft since Microsoft increased its paid maternity leave to 20 weeks (12 weeks for the fathers) while Lionbridge stayed where it was: at 0 day. How long can Microsoft tolerates such a shameful gap that is contrary to its proclaimed commitment to human rights?

Monday, January 18, 2016

2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Day @ Microsoft: Help end paid leave discrimination

2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Day @ Microsoft: Help end paid leave discrimination

For 29 years Microsoft did not celebrate MLK .JR Day as a paid holiday. Then on August 5 2015, Kathleen Hogan, Executive Vice President, Human Resources announced Microsoft was adding MLK Day to its list of paid holidays. That would allow the employees to 'take time to recharge and invest in ways that are meaningful to them'.  

Monday, January 4, 2016

Microsoft's Temporary Workers 3 wishes for 2016

There are thousands of people employed by Microsoft via vendors (Microsoft has not divulged the exact number). Many of them are classified as 'temporary' although their initial contract can be extended for years. Vendors use the temporary (mis)classification as a way to deny basic benefits like any sort of paid leave. On March 26 2015, Microsoft announced it cared for the health and wellness of those workers and would therefore, within the next nine months, require  vendors to provide them with 'at least 15 days of paid time off per year'. 
How has this policy change be implemented, how many vendors and employees are concerned, how do they feel about it, are questions that remain unanswered.