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From Microsoft, a Novel Way to Mandate Sick Leave

New York Times (03/26/15) Claire Cain Miller

Some large companies are requiring their contractors to provide paid sick leave to certain employees. Microsoft announced today that it will require its contractors and vendors that employ 50 or more people to offer employees either 10 paid vacation days and five paid sick days or 15 days of unrestricted paid time off. The policy will apply to employees who have worked with Microsoft for more than nine months.

In the technology industry, average full-time employees earn more than $115,000 a year, along with generous benefits, but many contracted service employees—such as security guards and janitors—earn low wages and often do not receive basic benefits such as sick leave. Following pressure from contract employees and labor groups, some technology companies have instituted changes. For example, Apple and Google have hired security guards as full-time employees instead of contractors.