Facebook to raise minimum hourly wage for contract workers


Facebook Headquarters

Facebook contractors will get be paid a higher minimum hourly wage.

Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Facebook plans to raise the minimum hourly wage it pays thousands of contract workers around the US, acknowledging that its current $15 minimum wage isn’t in line with rising cost of living in many of markets where its offices are located.

“It’s become clear that $15 per hour doesn’t meet the cost of living in some of the places where we operate,” the social-networking giant said in a blog post that noted the current minimum wage has been in place since 2015.

Contractors in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York and Washington DC will be paid a minimum of $20 an hour, while contractors in Seattle will be paid at least $18 per hour. Contract content reviewers will get a higher minimum wage: $22 in the Bay Area, New York and DC; $20 in Seattle; and $18 in all other US metro areas.

Content reviewers play a critical role at the company, reviewing violent images on the social network. Facebook, which has about 15,000 content reviewers, outsources content moderation work to staffing firms such as Cognizant, Accenture and Genpact. 

The minimum wage hikes come amid criticism of Facebook by some content moderators, who allege the company violated California law by failing to provide thousands of content moderators with a safe workplace. They say in a lawsuit that they’ve suffered psychological trauma and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder caused by exposure to murders, suicides and beheadings that were livestreamed on Facebook.

The new minimum wage will go into effect by mid-2020 and is working to develop similar standards in other countries, Facebook said.

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