Facebook to ensure that contractors and vendors get $15 minimum wage and paid leave
Facebook is now making sure that it’s contract workers, such as cafeteria staff and janitors, receive important benefits like minimum wage of $15, paid leave of 15 days, and child benefits for new parents. The conditions apply to those people who are employed by another company and who do “substantial work” for Facebook, and as long as that company is based in U.S. and has at least 25 employees working with Facebook.
The announcement made by Facebook on Wednesday comes as a major win for low-wage workers amidst the increasing tension over the wage gap between the technology sector’s elite and the lower-paid workers. It is likely that Facebook will work only with those companies that would comply with these rules.
Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook who resumed work following the sudden demise of her husband this month said “Taking these steps is the right thing to do for our business and our community. Women, because they comprise about two-thirds of minimum-wage workers nationally, are particularly affected by wage adjustments. Research also shows that providing adequate benefits contributes to a happier and ultimately more productive workforce.”
Facebook implemented the new standards at its main campus in Menlo Park Headquarters on May 1. The policy will be rolled out to remainder of Facebook’s offices within the year to its substantial vendors, who have more than 25 employees and are based in the United States, she said. The company however refused to comment as to how many contract workers it employs or name any of its vendors.
Facebook’s announcement was praised by unions who represent the people with low-wage jobs in Silicon Valley. Tech Giants which hire security officers and janitors in the region are mostly contract workers who are technically employed by outside companies, and they often do not get any of the extravagant benefits that technology workers receive. The announcement has even drawn praise from the White House and family groups.
Recently, more tech companies have taken initiatives to take care of their lower wage workers. For example, last year, Google increased the minimum pay to USD 15 per hour for its service workers, including bus drivers, parking attendants, security guards and cafe workers in Northern California offices. It also extended health care coverage to all service workers on USD Google campuses. Similarly, Apple have taken steps to ensure that the drivers of their bus shuttles receive higher wages.
Though, it’s a basic start, but for tech giants like Facebook and Microsoft who are big enough can convince the companies they are working with to get on board.