Facebook Incorporated Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg announced today that the social media powerhouse will be requiring improved benefits from its contractors, including higher pay, paid leave, and a $4,000 new child benefit.

Sandberg stated that contracted workers’ new benefits will include a $15 minimum wage, a minimum of 15 paid leave days for holidays, sick time, and vacation, and $4,000 in child care benefits for new parents who do not receive paid parental leave. As Sandberg acknowledged, these new requirements particularly benefit women workers.

“Women, because they comprise about two-thirds of minimum wage workers nationally, are particularly affected by wage adjustments,” explained Sandberg. “Research also shows that providing adequate benefits contributes to a happier and ultimately more productive workforce.

“Now Congress should follow the lead of Facebook and many cities and states and raise the federal minimum wage and pass paid sick days for U.S. workers,” commented Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal who praised Facebook’s action. “Today almost half of women workers to do have one day of paid sick leave. It’s inhumane,” said Smeal.

The new standards at Facebook will affect food-service workers, janitorial staff, security guards, and other contracted workers. Sandberg hopes to implement these benefits to a broader set of vendors within the year.

The company “expects to bear the cost of the new standards as vendors increase their rates,” according to the Wall Street Journal. “We think it’s the right thing to do with our community and the right thing to do with our business,” Sandberg said. “So we think it’s an expense worth bearing.”

Media Resources: Facebook Newsroom 5/12/15; Wall Street Journal 5/13/15;

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