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Facebook Opens Up Leave Policy For Working Moms

Many companies have made headlines over the last couple of years because they have expanded the amount of parental leave for their employees and many companies have included fathers in that leave.

Now, Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg wants to expand coverage for working moms beyond infant care; Facebook wants to support all workers with care-giving needs. The new policy announced by Facebook provides 20 days of bereavement leave for a family member’s death, six weeks of paid leave to care for ill family members and three days of paid family sick time for short-term illnesses, such as a child with the flu.

In support of Facebook’s decision, Ms. Sandberg points to the fact that women disproportionately care for sick children and parents, even when they are working full time outside the home. When women have options such as time to care for sick kids, Ms. Sandberg believes that these women are more likely to remain in the workforce and advance in their positions. Moreover, paid care-giving leave for everyone “normalizes” taking time to care for family irrespective of gender and even when workers do not have kids. All workers have personal events that require time off to handle. Ms. Sandberg has challenged other companies to offer similar benefits to their workers and has pushed for public policies that make it possible for workers to care for their children and support their parents as they age.