A colloquial expression used to describe long-term temporary workers who successfully sued Microsoft Corp. in the U.S., in a case that began in 1996. It is an amalgam of “permanent” and “temporary.” Microsoft eventually settled with plaintiffs for approximately $100 million. As a result of the high-profile nature of the case, many companies began looking at their temporary worker policies with much greater scrutiny. 

Source: Staffing Industry Analysts

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