August 11, 2012

Google Offers Death Benefits To Employees’ Significant Others

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

In addition to the free haircuts, gourmet food, fitness classes, laundry service, car washes, and in-house medical care Google reportedly offers to employees, the company has apparently rolled out death benefits that will pay half of that individual's salary to a significant other for a 10-year period.

The revelation came during an interview with Google Chief People Officer Laszlo Bock, which was conducted by Forbes Staff Writer Meghan Casserly on Wednesday, and under the policy, the spouse or domestic partner of a deceased Google employee would receive a check for 50% of the individual's salary each year for the first decade following their passing.

In addition, Salvador Rodriguez of the Los Angeles Times reveals that there is no tenure required for the benefit to activate, and that the majority of the Mountain View, California-based company's workers are covered by the death benefits. Also, those benefits include monthly checks of $1,000 for children of those employees until they turn 19 (23 if they are full-time college or university students).

"One of the things we realized recently was that one of the harshest but most reliable facts of life is that at some point most of us will be confronted with the death of our partners," Bock told Casserly. "And it´s a horrible, difficult time no matter what, and every time we went through this as a company we tried to find ways to help the surviving spouse of the Googler who´d passed away."

Bock, a former General Electric (GE) employee, first implemented the policy, which also provides surviving significant others with immediate granting of all vested stocks, in 2011, PC Mag's Stephanie Mlot reported Friday . However, the policy is currently open just to U.S. Google employees, added Samantha Murphy of

“People say ℠you´re Google, of course you can offer these crazy things,´” Bock told Forbes during the interview. “There is, of course, research that show employee benefit programs like ours can improve retention, and appear to improve performance on some level. But it turns out that the reason we´re doing these things for employees is not because it´s important to the business, but simply because it´s the right thing to do."

"When it comes down to it, it´s better to work for a company who cares about you than a company who doesn´t," he added. "And from a company standpoint, that makes it better to care than not to care.”