Verily, a research company and independent subsidiary of Alphabet, is suspending spot bonuses as it plans to allocate more money toward diversity and inclusion efforts.
A spokesperson for the company confirmed in an email to FOX Business that spot bonuses – not annual bonuses – would be suspended as part of the discretionary funds Verily was redirecting toward those causes. The spokesperson noted that the company is in “a privileged position” to do so, with “some of the highest paid workers in the world with incredible perks.”
“At this time, we think it’s important we put our money where our mouth is, and direct some of our discretionary funds – such as those typically used to fund a spot bonus program (which is separate and distinct of our annual bonus program) – to bolster our efforts to ensure our products and services are accessible to the people who need them,” the Verily spokesperson said. “This requires making a few small sacrifices, but why wouldn’t we do that?”
A spot bonus generally refers to an “on the spot” recognition of employee achievement.
The news was first reported by Business Insider on Tuesday, which also reported that employees were frustrated by the decision because they have been working on COVID-related projects throughout the pandemic.
In a memo obtained by the publication, employees argued that the use of spot bonuses to fund investments in diversity and inclusion programs suggested that “these efforts are charity causes not worthy of their own investment.”
In March, President Trump mentioned during a press conference that Verily was working on coronavirus testing technology.