Facebook says it is committing to pay everyone who does contract work at the company in the US a wage that’s "more reflective of local costs of living."
Facebook depends on contract laborers, who do everything from moderate content to help train AI. Previously the company said it would improve moderator job conditions and now, the spcial network says it will increase contractors' pay and offer additional benefits to content moderators.
In 2015, Facebook introduced a new set of standards for people who do contract work in the US, including: a $15 minimum wage; a minimum 15 paid days off for holidays, sick time and vacation; and, for new parents that don’t receive paid leave, a $4,000 new child benefit that gives them the flexibility to take paid parental leave. Since 2016, Facebook has also required vendors in the US to provide healthcare to all of their employees assigned to Facebook.
After reviewing a number of factors including third-party guidelines, Facebook says it is committing to a higher standard "that better reflects local costs of living." This means a raise to a minimum of $20 per hour in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City and Washington, D.C., and $18 per hour in Seattle. Facebook will be implementing these changes by mid-next year and is working to develop similar standards for other countries.
For workers in the US that review content on Facebook, Facebook is raising wages even more. The company will pay at least $22 per hour to all employees of its vendor partners based in the Bay Area, New York City and Washington, D.C.; $20 per hour to those living in Seattle; and $18 per hour in all other metro areas in the US.
Beyond pay, all content reviewers — whether full-time employees or those employed by partner companies — have access to "well-being and resiliency resources." This includes onsite trained professionals for individual and group counseling. And as with all people doing contract work, content reviewers also have health care benefits.
Facebook is also rolling out the first of many new programs and tools developed based on feedback from psychologists:
- Facebook is working with its vendor partners to deliver ongoing well-being and resiliency training.
- For the first time, Facebook is adding preferences that let reviewers customize how they view certain content. For example, they can now choose to temporarily blur graphic images by default before reviewing them.
- Facebook is now requiring all vendor partners to provide on-site counseling during all hours of operations, not just certain hours of each shift.
- The company is also rolling out a resiliency survey to all partner sites around the world to get a better sense of the needs of our reviewers.
Facebook said it would be implementing the changes by the middle of next year
Last year, Amazon.com Inc raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour after facing criticism over poor pay and working conditions.
Walmart, the world's largest retailer and the largest U.S. private sector employer, pays workers $11 an hour at entry-level, while Target Corp said here in April it would raise U.S. minimum wage to $13 an hour.
Content review at our size can be challenging and we know we have more work to do. We’re committed to supporting our content reviewers in a way that puts their well-being first and we will continue to share steps forward on this important topic.