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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.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

Mike Allen, author of AM
7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.

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