- Facebook employees now will receive 20 days of leave for a family member’s death, reports the Washington Post. Lori Goler, Facebook’s HR executive publicly announced the new policy.
- Along with extended bereavement leave, Facebook employees also will receive six weeks of paid leave to care for an ill family member and three days of paid time off to help a family member with a short-term illness.
- In her Facebook post announcing the new policy, Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s chief operating officer, cited a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stating that 60% of private-sector employees have bereavement time off but only for four days for a spouse or child’s death.
Facebook’s bereavement policy is generous by most companies’ standards. Attorney Sonya Rosenberg, a partner in the L&E group at Neal Gerber & Eisenberg, agrees.
“It is presently uncommon for employers to offer more than three to five days off – usually unpaid for exempt and part-time employees – for bereavement time off. And such leave is usually limited for a death in the immediate family only,” Rosenberg told HR Dive.
Rosenberg adds that more changes in the law on bereavement leave are emerging. Illinois, for example, passed the Child Bereavement Leave Act requiring employers with 50 or more workers to offer two weeks, or 10 days, of unpaid leave for the death of a child.
Facebook is widely known for its benefit offerings. Rosenberg says the tech giant is driving change among employers in and outside Silicon Valley. When Facebook announced that it was offering neutral-gender paid parental leave, other employers followed with similar policies, she says.
But will employers follow Facebook’s lead and offer equally generous bereavement leaves? Rosenberg says that’s unlikely.
“Although I expect we will start seeing expanded caregiver and bereavement leave benefits being offered to employees,” says Rosenberg, “I think it is unlikely that a 4-week paid bereavement policy will become commonplace among employers in the foreseeable future.”