Contractors' lawyer tells MS to withdraw ‘invalid’ contracts

Cynical attempt to browbeat them into signing away their rights, says here...

Microsoft is being accused of attempting to intimidate temporary contract workers into signing away their rights to benefits, according to the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers. MS' relations with contractors are presently the subject of litigation, and according to the Alliance, new contracts introduced this year are intended to stop contractors from benefiting from any settlement. In its email newsletter The Washtech-News, the Alliance claims that Microsoft's new Temporary Personnel Agreements (TPAs) have added a section which says contract employees will not be entitled to any Microsoft benefits, even if a court or government agency determines that they were common-law employees of Microsoft while at the company. Ongoing class-action litigation on behalf of Microsoft contractors may well determine that very thing, so Microsoft is in effect trying to get contractors to sign away their rights to any settlement. Steven Strong of law firm Bendich, Stobaugh and Strong, which is representing contractors, says the new contracts are invalid, and combine an illegal waiver and a misrepresentation of the employees' status. Microsoft classes them as contractors, while Strong says they are common-law employees entitled to full Microsoft employee benefits. Strong has asked Microsoft's lawyers to tell the company to withdraw the contracts, and threatens an injunction of Microsoft doesn't retract the requirement to sign. ® (Alliance Web site)

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