Microsoft just implemented a new policy in which the tech juggernaut will only work with companies offering paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers.
This marks an unprecedented move for big American firms, which typically outsource culinary, janitorial, or receptionist jobs to contractors who often don't extend the ample amount of benefits as large companies.
Microsoft's corporate vice president Dev Stahlkopf said, "We want to focus our resources on doing business with companies that share our values," according to the Washington Post.
Microsoft says it will only work with companies that offer paid parental leave https://t.co/JbzoqAl2LQ— Fast Company (@Fast Company) 1535695881.0
As part of the new policy that will become a law in 2020, Stahlkopf said that both biological and adoptive parents will be entitled to 12 weeks of parental leave.
Contractors would be required to pay two thirds of their employees' weekly salary, or up to $1,000 a week.
Washington state, which is home to Microsoft's headquarters, is the fifth state to adopt the policy of paid family leave for workers.
"We realized that while it will benefit the employees of our suppliers in Washington state, it will leave thousands of valued contributors outside of Washington behind," wrote Stahlkopf in a blog post.
The company made the decision to implement the new policy ahead of 2020 to cover the outsourced employees working outside of Washington.
"Microsoft will work with our suppliers to understand the impacts of this change, and we will make these changes in a thoughtful way. We appreciate that this may ultimately result in increased costs for Microsoft, and we'll put a process in place for addressing these issues with our suppliers."
"Our first step will be reaching out to our suppliers to discuss the impact of this policy change."
@FastCompany YES! @Microsoft YES! Lead by example #paidparentalleave #PaidFamilyLeave— Allie Amenta (@Allie Amenta) 1535742652.0
@BradSmi @jeffsand This is good, very good. I wish more companies did this.— Sahil Malik (@Sahil Malik) 1535672168.0
Economics expert Abby McCloskey believes Microsoft is sending a message maintaining that the new policy is more than just a job perk; it should be a requirement.
"This is a big change from how paid family leave has been viewed in the past. There's a cultural shift occurring as more employers offer paid leave, which is the good news."
It's high time that tech companies accept responsibility for the army of contractors they employ. Good on Microsoft… https://t.co/HiwO7Ep72n— DHH (@DHH) 1535650029.0
News of Microsoft's new policy sparked a conversation about how other countries are more advanced in their agenda to prioritize families over jobs.
@WIRED it shocks me that this is positive news for US citizens: in European countries (like Germany, Austria, ...)… https://t.co/XA3OuHCFk1— supergoof (@supergoof) 1535727333.0
@thomasschmickl @WIRED Agreed. This should be implemented at a federal level, not a company curtesy. Employees are… https://t.co/iBbBmoHDDX— Oge H Retla (@Oge H Retla) 1535730080.0
Way to go Microsoft! Tragic that the US doesn't require parental leave, but we'll take what we can get https://t.co/0c2pKAhbIu— Rand Fishkin (@Rand Fishkin) 1535649879.0
@randfish Just gobsmacked that it takes a mega corp to try and push the US into doing what has been in done across… https://t.co/UOH2qUMqcf— Uberman21 (@Uberman21) 1535650163.0
The software giant will hopefully prompt other big companies to adopt the same initiative for paid parental leave ahead of the law going into effect in 2020.