Microsoft pledges to ban non-competition in US and increase pay transparency

Microsoft has launched four new employee initiatives aimed at creating a more transparent workplace culture, including a ban on non-competitive clauses in contracts and a promise to improve pay transparency.

Four promises are categorized by Microsoft:

  • Empowering employee mobility
  • Build a safe haven for anxiety
  • Increase pay transparency
  • Conduct a civil rights audit

The goal of the new policy is to address the concerns raised by employees that current non-competitive obligations are being used as a tactic to enforce. As a result, the company will remove non-competitive clauses from the U.S. Employees Agreement and will not apply existing clauses to employees outside of Microsoft’s senior leadership team.

In addition, the company’s commitment to creating a safe haven for concerns is aimed at dealing with complaints surrounding clauses not disclosed in the employee contract. Microsoft’s U.S. settlement and separation agreement will no longer include so-called privacy language, which prohibits employees from disclosing “alleged conduct that they deem illegal discrimination, harassment, retaliation, sexual harassment, or wage and hourly violations occurring in the workplace.”

The increased pay transparency initiative, starting January 2023, will see Microsoft publicly announce pay limits on all internal and external job postings across the United States.

Finally, as a result of the company’s commitment to conducting a civil rights audit, Microsoft will see the promise of a third-party audit, which will be completed in FY 2023, a summary report and follow-on action will be published shortly thereafter.

These changes will only apply to US-based personnel policies and practices for the time being

Variable legal background

This announcement coincides with recent changes in employment laws in some US states. Microsoft is headquartered in Washington, DC, a state that has recently passed a number of laws prohibiting pay inequality, promoting pay transparency, and prohibiting contracts with non-disclosure and non-disclosure provisions.

Washington is not the first state in the United States to make a non-disclosure agreement illegal A bill introduced in California in January 2022 prohibits the use of privacy and non-respect clauses in settlement or separation agreements against workers who are victims of harassment or discrimination.

Microsoft’s ‘Listen First’ approach to employee wellness

In a blog post outlining the change, Amy Pannoni, Deputy General Counsel for HR Legal for Corporate External and Legal Issues and Corporate VP of Human Resources for Corporate Functions and Global Employee Relations, said Amy Coleman has developed a ‘listen first’ approach to pricing. , Lets the company identify what is working and what needs to change.

The post goes on to say that in addition to investing in mental health resources, Microsoft has improved its employees’ listening systems and conducted regular anonymous employee surveys, as well as attempts to improve employee well-being by moving toward a hybrid work model in terms of epidemics. In the HR system.

Microsoft has also pledged a number of diversifications and inclusions, particularly through the expansion of the Employee Resource Group (ERGs), to create a racial equality initiative and to eliminate disability divisions.

The announcement of the new workplace initiative comes just a week after Microsoft pledged to join the employees’ union and says it will not try to stop their formation.

In a blog post published June 2, Microsoft President Brad Smith said, “The recent unionization campaign – including in the technology sector – across the country – has led us to conclude that these issues will inevitably affect more businesses, including our own,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith. “It encourages us to think actively about the best practices for our employees, shareholders, customers and other stakeholders.”

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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