NEW YORK — Facebook was one of the tech companies that helped kick off an arms race in corporate America for better parental leave.
Now it’s hoping to do the same for bereavement leave.
Facebook employees now receive up to 20 days paid leave to grieve the loss of an immediate family member and up to 10 days after the death of an extended family member.
The policy doubles the amount of time employees used to receive for bereavement. It went into effect at the beginning of the year, but was announced publicly on Tuesday.
Employees will also get up to six weeks paid time off to care for a sick relative and three days to care for a family member facing a short-term illness.
“I hope more companies will join us and others making similar moves, because America’s families deserve support,” Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, wrote in a Facebook post.
Sandberg framed the new employee perk with her own experience. Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly in 2015 leaving her to balance grief and raising two young children with her role as a powerful technology executive.
“Amid the nightmare of Dave’s death when my kids needed me more than ever, I was grateful every day to work for a company that provides bereavement leave and flexibility. I needed both to start my recovery,” Sandberg wrote.
“I know how rare that is, and I believe strongly that it shouldn’t be,” she added. “People should be able both to work and be there for their families. No one should face this tradeoff.”
U.S. companies are not required by federal law to offer bereavement leave. Paid time off varies widely for those that do offer it.