NEW YORK, N.Y. – Microsoft said Thursday that it will push its U.S. suppliers to give their employees paid time off — but that only applies for the staffers that do work for Microsoft.
Microsoft said it has about 2,000 U.S. suppliers, who provide services such as maintenance and security. The technology company does not know how many of its suppliers don’t provide paid time off. It has heard from workers and media reports that some companies don’t provide the benefit.
The announcement comes at a time when paid sick leave and income inequality have become hot topics. Earlier this year, President Barack Obama called on Congress to pass measures that would allow workers to earn up to seven days of paid leave.
Microsoft Corp. said suppliers with 50 or more employees will be asked to provide at least 15 days of paid time off for employees that mainly work with the Redmond, Washington, company. They can offer either 15 unrestricted paid days off or 10 days of paid vacation and five days of sick leave. Microsoft said it will give suppliers 12 months to make the changes.
A Microsoft spokeswoman said the rules will be written into future contracts and those that don’t comply may be dropped as a supplier. She said the company did not discuss the issue with suppliers before the plan was announced Thursday.