LEAKED MEMO: Alphabet’s healthcare unit Verily suspended bonuses mid-pandemic to fund diversity programs instead, frustrating employees (GOOG, GOOGL)

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Google sister company Verily Life Sciences has suspended employee spot bonuses for the remainder of 2020. It says it will redirect the money into diversity and inclusion programs instead.
Employees aren’t happy about it. In an internal letter sent to management, viewed by Business Insider, employees are calling on leadership to reinstate spot bonuses and subsidize diversity efforts by other means.
The decision “implies that these efforts are charity causes not worthy of their own investment,” employees wrote.
Employees told Business Insider the decision is “demotivating” at a time where they are working around the clock on Verily’s COVID-19 screening and testing efforts.
Do you work at Verily? Contact reporter Hugh Langley using Signal or secure email (+1 628-228-1836 / hslangley@protonmail.com).
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Google sister company Verily Life Sciences has told employees it is suspending spot bonuses through 2020 and will redirect the money to diversity and inclusion programs.

Verily employees were told last week that the spot bonus money would instead be used to subsidize the company’s internal product inclusion group as well as other social justice programs including clinical trial recruitment of underrepresented populations, according to internal documents viewed by Business Insider.

Employees at the healthcare company are frustrated by the decision, according to an internal memo. Some employees also said it devalued their colleagues’ hard work and long hours during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, they said redirecting funds from bonuses sent the message that diversity programs were low priorities to Verily not worth their own budgets.

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Staffers in Verily’s division in charge of screening and testing for COVID-19, Project Baseline, have written to management asking for spot bonuses to be reinstated. “These programs should be invested in their own right given our strong financial position,” reads the letter. Employees have asked Verily’s leadership to provide company milestones for all of its diversity and inclusion efforts and to fund them through traditional company funding sources.

“The use of spot bonuses to subsidize social justice programs such as Healthy@Work for HBCUs [Historically Black colleges and universities], clinical trial recruitment of underrepresented populations, and an internal Product Inclusion group implies that these efforts are charity causes not worthy of their own investment,” the letter wrote.

The letter also called on the company to create a board of executives and employees “that define success and measure progress against all diversity, inclusion, and social justice goals.”


Verily spokesperson Carolyn Wang confirmed that the bonuses had been …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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