Micro$oft to sack temp workers after one year

Letting them hang around and sue you is just too expensive, apparently

Microsoft has replied to criticism that it exploits temporary workers by employing them for years -- making them virtual permanent workers -- while denying them the benefits associated with a permanent position. This so-called 'permatemp' status saves the obscenely wealthy software giant millions in fringe-benefit costs each year. Microsoft's solution, announced last week, is one Scrooge himself would admire: the company will now sack its temporary workers after one year of service, and require them to wait 100 days before being re-hired. The new policy is scheduled to take effect on 1 July. The company's previous practice of stringing temps along for years has been challenged in lawsuits filed by long-term temporary workers seeking regular benefits. Microsoft lost one case to a decision enabling temporary workers to buy company shares at the 15 percent discount enjoyed by staff. A second suit seeking medical and retirement benefits is currently pending. The new policy will indeed indemnify the company against further claims that it exploits its temps; but it will also have the ironic effect of decreasing the number of experienced casual workers it employs, while simultaneously reducing their economic benefits and job security. A lose/lose situation if we ever saw one. And you thought those Redmond boys were such a lot of cutting-edge geniuses. ®

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