People walk past the Microsoft store on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in June in New York City.
People walk past the Microsoft store on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in June in New York City. - 
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Microsoft will require all of its U.S. vendors with a workforce of 50 or more to offer their employees the same parental leave Microsoft provides its workers. In a statement, the company said:

"It will require that suppliers offer their employees a minimum of 12 weeks paid parental leave, up to $1,000 per week. This change applies to all parents employed by our suppliers who take time off for the birth or adoption of a child."

This builds on a 2015 announcement requiring suppliers doing business with Microsoft offer workers paid time off.

"This is a game changer," said Beth Humberd, an assistant business professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. "It could be a reason for people that particularly care about companies walking the walk to be more attracted to them." 

Microsoft's latest policy shift is also a departure from how tech companies used to operate, according to John Doggett, a business professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

"Firms actually discriminated against men and women who wanted to have families, because if you have a family and these family responsibilities, you can't spend all of your time working on the software or the hardware that the company is creating."

Microsoft works with about 1,000 companies around the country and will implement the changes over the next 12 months. 

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