HR News: Microsoft makes HR Changes after Viral Email

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In this week’s HR News Beat, Microsoft says it is changing its HR practices after a complaint email focused on discrimination and harassment went viral with in the company.  Also, ADP says the gender pay gap continues, and the construction industry is dealing with a pending gap of its own.  Baby boomers are retiring and that raises the potential for a future labor shortage.

Microsoft Changes HR Practices after Discrimination and Harassment email chain circulates

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced sweeping changes after an email chain describing sexual harassment and discrimination went viral internally. In the chain, women openly discussed instances of harassment or discrimination.  According to CNBC, accounts include women being asked to sit on a co-worker’s lap and being called insensitive names.

RESOURCE DOWNLOAD:  A Guide for HR and Sexual Harassment

After dealing with the issues raised in the email, Microsoft says it is making changes to the HR department that will help prevent further instances of discrimination or harassment.  Those include:

  • New training materials
  • New business conduct guidelines
  • HR staff will be expanded
  • HR will create an Employee Advocacy Team to assist employees going through the workplace investigation process
  • New HR investigators will be hired
  • New discipline guidelines
  • More information transparency about investigations and disciplinary actions

All of these changes are expected to be in place by the 2020 fiscal year.

ADP Report:  Pay Gaps Continue

The State of the Workplace Report:  Pay, Promotions and Retention from ADP has been released.  While it shows positive job growth over the last eight years, it also points to lack of wage growth in that time, particularly between women and men.  Looking at the national average, hourly wages stand at $29.03.  When looking at it from a gender perspective, men still make more than women.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, men make up 53% of the workforce while women make up 47%.  Men, on average, make $32 an hour where women make $25 an hour.


Potential Labor Gap for Construction Sector

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the construction sector is showing a 12% job growth.  Despite that, there is a growing concern on the horizon.  According to the National Center for Construction Education & Research, 41% of the current workforce is expected to retire by 2031.  The majority of those workers are baby boomers.  If that comes to pass, the construction industry will be dealing with both a leadership gap and a labor gap.