Wage disparity is a problem everywhere but it might just be more visible in a place like Silicon Valley, where employees at tech companies often make six figures while those who support their very existence make much, much less.
Facebook has just announced that it has implemented "a new set of standards on benefits for contractors and vendors who support Facebook in the US and do a substantial amount of work with us."
The new benefits for Facebook contractors include a $15 minimum wage and a minimum 15 paid days off for holidays, sick time and vacation.
Also, contractors who don't already get some sort of paid parental leave will get a $4,000 "new child benefit".
"We’ve been working on these changes for some months and had originally planned to announce this last Monday. Effective May 1, we’ve already put these standards in place for some of our largest support teams at our Menlo Park headquarters. We will be working to implement this program with a broader set of vendors within the year. This broader group will include workers who do substantial work for Facebook and who are employed by companies based in the US with more than 25 employees supporting Facebook," said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Facebook didn't say exactly how many people would be affected by the new policy, but the Wall Street Journal reports that it will cover "food-service, security and janitorial workers, among others, at its U.S. facilities." Facebook says it wants to expand the program to other contractors in the coming years.
"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," said Sandberg.
Facebook isn't the first company to take a step like this. Both Apple and Google have promised to make security staff full-time employees (with benefits), Google improved wages for shuttle bus drivers, and Microsoft gave basic-level benefits to "tens of thousands" of contract workers.
Image via Facebook Menlo Park