Microsoft giving employees $1,500 bonus in recognition of challenging pandemic year

A quiet Microsoft campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. (GeekWire File Photo / Todd Bishop)

Microsoft is giving employees $1,500 in bonus pay for weathering the “unique and challenging” circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an internal company memo seen by The Verge on Thursday.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant said the one-time bonus will apply to eligible employees in the U.S. and internationally who are below corporate vice president level and started on or before March 31, 2021. The memo was written by Microsoft chief people officer Kathleen Hogan.

“As a symbol of our appreciation for coming together as One Microsoft during a uniquely challenging year, we are proud to recognize our employees with a one-time monetary gift,” a Microsoft spokesperson told GeekWire.

The gift is not tied to a program or company metrics and is separate from Microsoft’s compensation programs, the spokesperson added.

Microsoft has 175,508 total employees, including 101,277 in the U.S. and 57,651 in the Puget Sound area.

The Verge reported that LinkedIn, GitHub, and ZeniMax employees are not eligible for the bonus, despite the fact that Microsoft owns those three separate companies.

Amazon announced last year that it would pay $500 million in bonuses to frontline workers and delivery partners confronting risks and high demand during the pandemic. Facebook also gave $1,000 bonuses.

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Microsoft Bonus Covid-19 Pandemic