Death is a part of life. And as much as we'd like to think it'll never happen, occasionally a company has to deal with the too-soon death of an employee. Not all companies handle the situation well, but Google certainly does, according to a Forbes report.
When a Google worker dies — a tragic event to be sure — the company ensures the worker's family will be well taken care of. The surviving spouse or domestic partner will receive 50% of the employee's salary for 10 years. And if there are any kids in the mix, Google offers a $1,000 payment per child up to the age of 19 (or 23 if they're still in school). Any stock plan the employee has with the company will also be fully vested upon death.
Says Google's Chief People Officer Laszlo Bock: "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. 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." Google had been providing beyond-the-standard benefits on a case-by-case basis prior to 2011, when it formally instituted this policy.
Though Bock claims there's no obvious benefit to Google for providing such benefits, we disagree. The company has built its image around a "Don't be evil" motto — an image that's taken a number of ugly hits over the past few months. A reminder that Google is, as they say, "good people" goes a long way toward rehabilitating their once-pristine image.
[Image credit: Shawn Collins]
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