Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Photo: Microsoft

In a move that could prompt more companies to offer paid parental leave, Microsoft is announcing today that it will require all of its U.S.-based suppliers and vendors with more than 50 employees to offer such benefits.

Why it matters: Many leading companies offer paid leave, but others need a push. History shows that when progressive companies require benefits or policies from their suppliers, it can help increase adoption. Microsoft's move alone will mean many thousands of new workers getting paid parental leave, as the company has more than 1,000 partners in the U.S.

Some states already have laws offering or mandating paid parental leave, including California. Microsoft's home state of Washington has also enacted paid parental leave that will go into effect in 2020.

"As we looked at this legislation, however, we realized that while it will benefit the employees of our suppliers in Washington state, it will leave thousands of valued contributors outside of Washington behind," Microsoft general counsel Dev Stahlkopf said in a blog post. "So, we made a decision to apply Washington’s parental leave requirement more broadly, and not to wait until 2020 to begin implementation."

What they're saying: Activists praised the move, with the National Partnership for Women & Families VP Vicki Shabo calling it bold and impressive. "It showcases the ripple effects that state-level public policy changes — like Washington state's paid family and medical leave program adopted last year — can have in changing private sector practice and behavior," she said.

History lesson: It's not the first time Microsoft has required suppliers to offer specific benefits. Three years ago the company insisted that its partners offer full-time workers at least 15 days of paid time off each year.

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Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 33,880,896 — Total deaths: 1,012,964 — Total recoveries: 23,551,663Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 7,232,823 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.

CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S.

Cruise Ships docked in April at the port at Marina Long Beach due to a no-sail order in Long Beach, in California. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

There have been at least 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like illness cases on cruise ships in U.S. waters, "in addition to at least 41 reported deaths," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Wednesday.

Driving the news: The CDC released the data from the period of March 1 through Sept. 29 in an emailed statement confirming the extension of a No Sail Order for cruise ships through Oct. 31, as first reported by Axios' Jonathan Swan on Tuesday in his article revealing CDC director Robert Redfield was overruled in a push to extend the order into 2021.

Ina Fried, author of Login
4 hours ago - Technology

Facebook removes Trump ads tying refugees to COVID-19

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook said Wednesday that it was removing a series of ads from President Trump's campaign that linked American acceptance of refugees with increased coronavirus risk, a connection Facebook says is without merit.

Why it matters: The ads were pulled after they received thousands of impressions and are a sign that the Trump campaign continues to test the limits of social media rules on false information.

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