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Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California

Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, will re-open in a limited capacity on May 10.


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Facebook on Friday confirmed plans to open its Menlo Park headquarters at 10% capacity on May 10 if coronavirus case numbers continue to fall, as previously reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. The social network’s Fremont offices will follow May 17, its Sunnyvale location May 24 and its downtown San Francisco towers June 7.

All employees can work from home until July 2. After that, they can continue to do so until one month after their office reopening reaches 50% capacity. Facebook estimates that it’ll be able to reopen its largest sites at that level after Sept. 7.

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“The health and safety of our employees and neighbors in the community is our top priority and we’re taking a measured approach to reopening offices,” Facebook spokesperson Chloe Meyere said in statement emailed to CNET. “As we return to the office, we have a number of safety protocols in place including physical distancing and masks required at all times when in an office, and where possible, weekly testing requirements for anyone working on site.”

Earlier this week, Microsoft said it will start bringing employees back to its Redmond, Washington, headquarters from March 29. Its workers in the area will be able choose between returning to office full time, continuing to work remotely or implementing a hybrid model.

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Walmart gives workers off on Thanksgiving.

Walmart workers won’t have to work this Thanksgiving..


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Black Friday deals aren’t limited to just the Friday after Thanksgiving. Retailers start their sales on Thanksgiving, but this year, it’ll be different at Walmart

The retail giant said Friday it’s giving workers the day off on Thanksgiving due to their work during the pandemic. It joins Target, which said in January it wouldn’t be open on Thanksgiving

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“Closing its stores on Thanksgiving Day is an additional way the retailer is thanking associates for their dedication to serving customers and their perseverance throughout the pandemic,” the company said in a press release Friday. 

Walmart also closed its stores on Thanksgiving last year due to the pandemic. 

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Apple reports improved behavior in its supplier chain.


Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Apple reported improvements in its manufacturing partners’ operational conduct in 2020 while grappling with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple’s annual supply-chain responsibility report for 2021 focuses on a range of topics, including labor and human rights, worker health and safety, and the environment, among other things.  

Apple reported a reduction in major violations of its Code of Conduct among its suppliers and didn’t mention discovering any cases of child labor. It also found no instances of forced labor. Most of the violations Apple reported related to violations of the company’s working-hours policy or labor data falsification.

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During the year, Apple conducted 1,121 supplier assessments in 53 countries to ensure compliance with the company’s Code of Conduct. The company also said it conducted 57,618 interviews with supply chain workers to ensure those workers participating in the assessment process weren’t retaliated against.

While Apple’s 113-page report (PDF) didn’t mention uncovering child labor being employed in suppliers’ facilities, the company did find that one facility had “misclassified the student workers in their program and falsified paperwork to disguise violations of our Code, including allowing students to work nights and/or overtime, and in some cases, to perform work unrelated to their major.” Apple said it placed the supplier on probation and stopped doing business with the facility until the issue was corrected.

The report didn’t identify the supplier that was suspended, but in November, Apple reportedly froze any new business contracts with Pegatron, one of its key suppliers, after the Taiwanese company was found to be breaking the company’s supply chain rules by falsifying paperwork and misclassifying workers in order to cover up labor violations.

Apple found a major reduction in violations of its code of conduct in 2020, reporting nine during the year compared with 17 the year earlier and 48 in 2017. Seven of the nine cases in 2020 related to working hours or labor data falsification. Overall, the company reported 93% compliance with its working-hours rules, which require suppliers to restrict work weeks to 60 hours.

Apple also said it rejected 8% of prospective suppliers for code-related risks.

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Boeing

The Boeing Company reached an agreement with the US Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday that requires it to pay at least $17 million in penalties, after the Chicago-based manufacturer installed equipment with unapproved sensors in hundreds of 737 Max and NG aircraft.

“Keeping the flying public safe is our primary responsibility,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “That is not negotiable, and the FAA will hold Boeing and the aviation industry accountable to keep our skies safe.”

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The settlement comes as the FAA seeks to step up its scrutiny of airline production and safety. In February, the Department of Transportation’s inspector general’s office said the FAA needed to strengthen its aircraft review process and issued a 55-page report detailing how the agency had misunderstood the 737 Max’s MCAS flight control system. Though not related to today’s settlement, that system was ultimately blamed for two crashes that, combined, killed 346 people.

In addition to the penalties, Boeing has agreed to take a number of corrective actions, including measures meant to ensure future compliance with FAA regulations and to reduce the chance that Boeing again submits aircraft with nonconforming parts for airworthiness certification. If Boeing fails to comply within 30 days, the FAA will direct the company to pay up to $10.1 million in additional penalties.

“We take our responsibility to meet all regulatory requirements very seriously,” a Boeing spokesperson told CNET. “These penalties stem from issues that were raised in 2019 and which we fully resolved in our production system and supply chain. We continue to devote time and resources to improving safety and quality performance across our operations. This includes ensuring that our teammates understand all requirements and comply with them in every way.”

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