It’s the weekend! We hope you’re staying cool despite the heat waves sweeping the nation. Before you shut down for a few days, let’s review some of the week’s biggest stories, including a Microsoft payout and Donald Trump’s latest lawsuit.

Microsoft Paying Out Big Pandemic Bonuses

Technologists put up with a lot during the pandemic, and morale at some companies might be a little frayed. A few tech giants are delivering the kind of morale-booster only possible when you earn billions of dollars per quarter: hefty cash bonuses to employees. 

Microsoft is the latest company to announce such a move, with a $1,500 “pandemic bonus” to all employees below the rank of corporate vice president. According to The Verge, employees at Microsoft subsidiaries such as GitHub aren’t eligible for this bonus. All told, the payouts should cost Microsoft around $200 million.

That $1,500 is more than the $1,000 that Facebook offered 45,000 employees last March, or the $300 that Amazon paid out to certain front-line workers. With the tech industry’s unemployment rate still low, trust that other companies will take similarly big steps to keep their employees happy—although they might not resort to paying out significant amounts of cash. 

Donald Trump Files Lawsuits Against Facebook, Twitter, and Google

Former U.S. President Donald Trump is suing Facebook, Twitter, and Google for keeping him off their platforms. Trump is arguing that the social networks and Google’s YouTube are biased against him; in addition to “punitive damages,” he wants those networks to restore his accounts, which were shut down following the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol

Trump faces an uphill battle in court, however, given how private companies generally have the latitude to set their own rules and policies. Remember, the First Amendment protects your freedom of speech against the government, not Mark Zuckerberg. 

Have a great weekend, everyone! Stay cool!