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Facebook extends paid leave to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault

Facebook extends paid leave to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault
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Facebook will offer paid leave to workers who face domestic violence or sexual assault, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said this week in announcing an expansion of the company's paid leave policy.

Sandberg explained in an interview with Bloomberg published Wednesday that the company is still working out the most effective way to implement the policy.

For now, employees can ask for time off without specifying a reason and then can later report the reason in a confidential system operated by Facebook's human resources department, the company told Bloomberg.

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“This is brand-new and I think this is going to be a tricky thing with this policy. So we’ll have to see how it unfolds,” Sandberg said.

The change comes just a few months after Facebook announced it was hoping to shift as many as half of the company's positions to remote work, a decision brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic forced millions of workers around the U.S. to remain home or only go to the office on select days. Reports of domestic violence surged as many were forced to be in near-constant proximity to abusers.

“Domestic violence is a huge problem and it’s a universal problem,” Sandberg said. “It’s all over the world and it happens in companies like ours to our employees.”

The Hill has reached out to Facebook for further comment.