Climate change leave for software company workers

A US software company is offering paid leave to employees impacted by the extreme weather events caused by climate change.

The impact of climate change has been difficult to ignore this year, as with communities around the world experiencing a particularly vicious slate of natural disasters. From monsoon flooding in Bangladesh to hurricanes and storms across the Atlantic and Pacific, millions have struggled to stay alive, much less save their homes and livelihoods.

Extreme weather events are not going away – in fact, they’re only going to become more common. So how should companies address them in the best interests of their business, and their employees?

In the US, Fog Creek Software has decided to offer employees five days of paid leave, if they are impacted by “the increasingly frequent disruptions of extreme weather and environmental conditions due to climate change." If a state of extended emergency is declared, the five days will be extended.

The new policy was brought in as recent hurricanes in the US displaced some members of the Fog Creek team.

"We told our coworkers to get safe, take the time they need and don’t worry about work while they’re putting family first," said CEO Anil Dash. "But as a CEO, I never want to be having to tell an employee, 'Trust me, it’ll be okay,' because taking care of employees means putting down our commitments to them and their families — in writing."

“This is especially important because these situations of being displaced by weather or environmental conditions are only going to become more common,” he added.

To do its part to save the environment, the company has already initiated remote-first working. It also has a policy of paying for public transportation for its New York City employees, to ensure “zero car commutes”.


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