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Just some context for the Amazon lay-offs.

Intel has a policy of giving 5% of their employees poor reviews each year (usually those over 40).

Over 30% of the work force at Microsoft are temps and 1099's (contractors) and they work under a mandatory 31 day lay-off rule. Bascially it says that if you work there more than a year and get a new contract you have to take 31 days of un-paid leave. This doesn't affect all of the contractors since a sub-set are working on rolling 3 month contracts and managers can find ways around the policy if they want.

By using a large pool of contractors (this is an at will employment state) Microsoft can "lay off" entire teams of people and there isn't any press coverage at all. YOu can see why given Amazon's experience.

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