Facebook has announced it will offer up to 20 days paid time off to employees who suffer domestic abuse or sexual assault

Sheryl Sandberg
Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg.

  • Facebook has announced it will give all staff who suffer domestic abuse 20 days of paid leave.
  • COO Sheryl Sandberg told a Bloomberg summit it also applied to staff whose relatives or household members were victims.
  • She referenced rising reports of domestic abuse amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said on Wednesday the company would now offer paid leave to employees who suffer domestic violence or sexual assault.

Facebook staff will be able to take up to 20 days of paid time off if they, a family member, or a household member are experiencing violence and sexual assault at home, Sandberg said at the Bloomberg Equality Summit.

Sandberg said this was prompted by rising reports of domestic violence amid the global lockdowns of COVID-19, saying, “We all have a responsibility to do what we can to prevent it and help those who go through these awful experiences.”

“It’s a situation where you need paid time off, and not just for yourself but for a loved one,” she said. “This is us really recognizing that this is something that affects everyone, including our employees.”

After the summit, Sandberg wrote on Facebook that the 20 days policy could be for “seeking medical attention, or support from a domestic abuse shelter, victims’ services organization or rape crisis center, or to relocate temporarily or permanently if they need to.”

Facebook previously allowed US employees who were themselves victims of domestic violence to take unpaid leave, Bloomberg reported.

Facebook didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request to comment.

A company spokesperson told Bloomberg that employees who have told their managers they have to take emergency leave will later be identified as a domestic abuse victims in Facebook’s internal systems.

Only human resources managers have access to these systems, they said.

Facebook also provides an additional 10 weeks of COVID-19 leave for employees to recover from the virus or to care for their children or elderly relatives, Sandberg said in an interview with Axios on March 8.

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