Some employees of childless technology companies are unhappy with the extra benefits offered to employees with children,media Techspot reported. The technology industry has been at the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic from the start. Industry officials were among the first to cancel big tech conferences, and when things turned around, big tech companies pioneered the home office movement.
When schools and nurseries close and parents receive extra benefits to help care for their children, child-free employees begin to voice their displeasure.
As the New York Times notes, Facebook extended paid leave in March to employees with children whose schools or nurseries were closed because of the outbreak and were entitled to up to 10 weeks of paid leave. Microsoft, Google and others quickly followed suit, providing similar incentives for parents.
Facebook went a step further, canceling employee performance reviews for the first half of 2020 and giving everyone the highest bonus of the period. Some see the moves as a show of support when needed, but others question whether the extra rewards represent preferential treatment for those with children. Is it fair that employees with children receive additional benefits that employees without children do not enjoy?
Three anonymous Facebook employees told the New York Times that managers had to host discussions on internal forums and single out employees with children because they had not contributed or done their jobs. When Shirley Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, reportedly raised the issue in a company-wide video conference on August 20, she “disagreed with the premise that performance rating freezes and leave policies primarily benefit parents.” When more than a thousand employees asked her again to answer the question, she did, noting that Facebook was trying to make its vacation policy inclusive for everyone.
“I do believe that parents have certain challenges,” Sandberg said. “But everyone has challenges, and they’re very, very real.”