In response to employee concerns and Washington state legislation, tech giant Microsoft is implementing new workforce initiatives that will eliminate some controversial policies and practices. Microsoft says it will no longer require non-compete clauses in employee agreements; nor will it include non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in employee settlement and separation agreements that could restrict U.S. employees from reporting misconduct.
The Washington state legislature recently passed the “Silenced No More Act,” which makes it illegal for companies to prevent employees from reporting illicit acts such as sexual harassment, discrimination, and wage violations. Microsoft is one of several tech companies based in Washington, including Amazon, which has had its own share of conflicts with employees.
Microsoft is also planning to publicly disclose salary ranges in job posts, which will go into effect in January 2023, coinciding with a new law requiring such disclosures in Washington. The company is also committing to an independent civil rights audit of its workforce policies and practices conducted by a third party. This is in response to complaints and grievances from current and former employees regarding harassment in the company, including allegations against co-founder and figurehead Bill Gates.