Oberman Law Firm

Companies Are Changing Bereavement Policies in Response to Employee Needs

As employers continue to review their post-Covid-19 policies and procedures, companies are changing bereavement policies in response to employee needs.

Many employers are updating and/or implementing how they approach bereavement, and what exactly is covered within their employee manuals. Some areas that employers are reviewing include how much time off is necessary, scheduling flexibility, and the best way to define what bereavement really means.

Following federal and state laws when creating bereavement policies is critical. Bereavement policies should clearly define when an employee is entitled to take bereavement leave, how long they are entitled to leave, and for what relationships, including in-laws, step-relatives and same-sex partners.

From a federal and state law compliance standpoint, using gender neutral terms like parent, grandparent, child and sibling rather their gendered equivalents are recommended. In many cases, employers are now including limited time off for nonfamilial relationships, such friends or other co-workers.

Many states do not have laws regarding bereavement. Employers that have remote employees working in different states need to be aware of all state laws regarding bereavement and other employee benefits


Stuart J. Oberman, Esq.
President & CEO