Ex1. Employees at Microsoft will be paid a large bonus this year.
Ex2. The employees at Microsoft will be paid a large bonus this year.
Q1. Are both grammatically correct and academically acceptable, meaning I do not require "the" article in front "of"?
Q2. The only difference between the two is that the second one means that there are specific/certain employees but not all of the employees? Or can they mean the exactly same thing, meaning "all employees of Microsoft?"
Thanks in advance.