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Microsoft to Stop Enforcing Non-Compete Clause for Its US Employees, Will Conduct Civil Rights Audit in 2023




By Reuters | Updated: 9 June 2022

Microsoft said on Wednesday the company would stop enforcing existing non-compete clauses in the United States, while also committing to a civil rights audit of its workforce policies in 2023.

The Redmond, Washington-based software firm said changes to the enforcement of non-compete clauses would not apply to the company’s most senior leadership.

Microsoft added the civil rights audit of its workforce policies and practices would be conducted by a third party and a report would be published.

The software firm also aims to have salary ranges in all of the company’s internal and external job postings across the US by at least January 2023. It would also no longer include confidentiality language in its US settlement and separation agreements that prohibits workers from disclosing conduct they perceive as illegal.

The company had last week said it would not resist unionisation efforts from its employees in a sign of growing receptiveness in the tech sector that has been for long unconcerned about organised labour.

The company’s President Brad Smith said last Thursday that Microsoft recognises employees legal right to choose to form or join a union, although they “will never need to organise to have a dialogue” with leaders.

The comment comes against the backdrop of recent agitations from employees at several technology companies.

Last month, a small group of workers in a division of Call of Duty videogame maker. Activision Blizzard, which is being taken over by Microsoft, voted in favour of unionising. In response, Activision said it believes 19 employees should not be able to make a decision impacting a larger group of its employees.

Amazon has been long opposed to unionisation efforts by its warehouse employees and was last month accused of threatening staff over a union vote.

© Thomson Reuters 2022