Staffing Firms Must Up Pay, Benefits at Facebook

facebookOne of Silicon Valley’s giants said today it will require its staffing vendors to pay their workers at least $15 an hour and give them paid sick leave and vacation.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg announced the new policy in a blog post today.

“We are implementing a new set of standards on benefits for contractors and vendors who support Facebook in the U.S. and do a substantial amount of work with us. These benefits include a $15 minimum wage, minimum 15 paid days off for holidays, sick time, and vacation, and for those workers who don’t receive paid parental leave, a $4,000 new child benefit for new parents,” she said.

The policy took effect May 1 for vendors and contractors working at the company’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters. Within a year, Sandberg wrote, the policy will be implemented at all Facebook work sites.

She didn’t say how many workers would be affected.

Among Silicon Valley firms, Facebook is in the forefront of the drive to improve pay and benefits for the thousands of janitors, groundskeepers, cafeteria workers, drivers, and other agency-provided workers. The matter became a national issue last summer when a union-connected research group, Working Partnerships USA, issued a report highlighting the lack of diversity — and the pay discrepancies — among the Valley’s biggest tech firms.

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Blacks and Latinos, the report observed, comprise less than 5 percent of the Silicon Valley pay disparity chartworkforce at companies like Google and Facebook and LinkedIn, but account for up 75 percent of the blue-collar contractors. Janitors earn an average of $11.39 and hour, which the report compared to the $61.87 average pay fo a software developer.

Not long after the report was issued, and after months of picketing by unionized security guards, Google announced it would convert its contract security guards to W-2 employees.

Outside of tech, other companies have been under pressure to improve pay and benefits for their workers. In February, Walmart said it would raise its starting pay to $9 an hour.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


3 Comments on “Staffing Firms Must Up Pay, Benefits at Facebook

    1. True, but what gets me is why no one ever suggests that maybe profit margins will have to take a hit. The economy craters and all workers are told to simply shrug it off, and they take it as a given that wages and benefits will decrease, and they have to just grin and bear it. But, suggest the same to business owners and tell them that their profits are no more guaranteed than their workers’ wages, either nominally, in real, or marginal terms, and they flip out and threaten Armageddon. Very interesting. But I am heartened by the fact that at least a couple high profile companies have finally suffered cranial-rectal prolapse and seem to be realizing you can’t pay people crap and expect golden performance.

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