Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has announced a plan to raise the wages of contractors working for the company. The affected workers are employed by outside vendors and work either part or full-time in areas such as content review, security, food services, and transportation. Facebook has required that contractors be paid a $15 minimum wage since 2015, but said in a blog post announcing the new plan, “It’s become clear that $15 per hour doesn’t meet the cost of living in some of the places where we operate.”
Facebook said in the blog post that its partner companies must pay contract workers a “wage that’s more reflective of local costs of living.” In New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington, D.C., contractors will receive a minimum wage of $20 an hour. In Seattle, they’ll receive at least $18 an hour. Facebook is also working to implement requirements like overtime pay, no sub-contracting, premiums for night and weekend shifts, and healthcare that meets that standards of the Affordable Care Act.
Contractors doing content moderation for Facebook will get further benefits. These workers review whether a piece of content is in compliance with Facebook’s community policies, blocking misinformation as well as violent and extremist content. The company recently reported having 15,000 workers doing content moderation, almost doubling the number of workers reported in April 2018.
Content reviewers will make up to $22 in the San Francisco Area, New York City, and Washington, D.C. Content moderators in other parts of the country will make a minimum of $18 per hour. Reviewers will also be given more control over the content they’re seeing and more supportive programs, including on-site counseling during all hours of operation. The changes will take effect by mid-2020 in the U.S.
Janelle Gale, Facebook’s vice president of human resources, said Facebook is also looking at cost-of-living standards in other countries where it hires contractors. Because Facebook hires contractors through outside providers, it doesn’t know how many of its contractors will benefit from the new plan. The minimum wage standards will be set through contracts with those companies.