A giant digital sign can be seen on the campus of Facebook’s corporate headquarters in Menlo Park, California on October 23, 2019.
Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images
When Michelle Moran read that Facebook would postpone the return of its employees to the office until 2022, she burst into tears.
This is because Moran, a contractor for Facebook through the personnel service provider Accenture, experienced exactly the opposite when dealing with the company.
While US Facebook employees were spared health risks in the wake of the Covid-19 delta wave until they return to office in January 2022, Moran’s contractor team has not done so. You have been back in the Facebook offices as of August 2nd and your personal presence is required until further notice.
The situation is the latest example of how technical workers are treated versus contractors in the industry. Reports have shown that while full-time tech workers enjoy high-paying salaries, company stocks, and convenient perks and perks, tech contractors are often treated as second-class citizens who make less money, have less free time, and don’t have as many perks or perks.
While Facebook has taken steps to protect its U.S. employees by allowing them to work remotely for at least several more months, the same consideration has not been extended to the contractors on Moran’s team.
“It’s a really sad situation with the poor again being treated with discrimination,” she said.
A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed that the company has some employees and contractors in its offices.
“While the majority of full-time and temporary workers for Facebook continue to work from home, some have returned to offices that have reopened with reduced capacity and strict health and safety standards,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. “A person’s status as a full-time or temporary worker doesn’t matter whether or not they can work from home due to the global pandemic.”
The Facebook spokesman didn’t want to say how many US contractors have to work in the company’s offices.
Moran is part of a team of around 18 Accenture contract partners who generate data for Facebook’s machine learning models. The team had been working remotely for more than a year when it was informed on July 15 that it was needed at the Facebook offices in Mountain View, California.
The contractors were given two weeks to prepare for the return. Workers would have to receive an apology from a doctor, excusing them from going back to the office or from returning. Contractors were told that if they needed more time they would have to dip into their 10 days of free time or not get paid, Moran said.
Luckily for her, Moran was able to get a doctor to sign a form stating that she is living with someone prone to Covid-19, her elderly mother, and she has been allowed to leave the country until August 31st To work remotely.
While Facebook has told its U.S. full-time employees they won’t have to return to the office until January 2022, Accenture contractor Michelle Moran is on a team asked to return to Facebook’s offices this month.
Courtesy Michelle Moran
However, Moran notes that of her entire team, only she and two of her colleagues were able to obtain these excused remote work permissions. Others on her team, including a pregnant colleague and another colleague who is over 60, have had to keep going to the office even as Delta cases increase.
In a statement, Accenture said the company is prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of its employees through social distancing, improved office cleaning, mask requirements, regular Covid tests, and individual transportation to and from the office.
“We work with our employees on customized accommodations, including working from home, in accordance with all applicable labor laws and local regulations,” an Accenture spokeswoman said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor public health advice related to Covid-19 and update our protocols and guidelines as necessary to reflect this evolving landscape.”
Now the contractors are back in the office, but Moran said that at least everyone must wear masks, although some employees take the masks off from time to time. All contractors, including those who have been vaccinated, are also required to run weekly Covid-19 tests, which Moran says are invasive.
And while she was given permission to work remotely until Aug. 31, Moran said Accenture told her that if she doesn’t return to the office in September or get permission for paid family vacation from the state of California, she will be fired . Moran said she had no plans to return to the office.
“At the moment I can’t,” she said. “I cannot risk my family’s health, my mother’s health.”
Moran said that in an ideal world, Facebook would reverse its decision and allow their team to go back to working remotely for a while, until more people are vaccinated, or at least put in place a safer hybrid schedule.
Moran said she felt compelled to speak out for herself and her colleagues.
“I have to raise my voice because I know that no one will do it there because everyone is afraid of losing their job,” she said. “I decided to speak up because I don’t like injustice and I’ve seen a lot of injustice. If I can do something, it doesn’t matter whether it is beneficial to me or not, but it could help someone else. “