Companies Are Now Offering Employees Bereavement Leave For Pets

Many companies offer their employees bereavement leave to be taken upon the death of a family member. However, some companies are taking this one step further, providing employees bereavement leave for the loss of a pet. ABC News has reported that several United States companies, including Trupanion and Kimpton Hotels, offer paid leave to their employees due to the passing of a pet. Other companies offer flexible alternatives to their employees who have suffered the loss of a pet. At least one company mentioned in the report permitted its salaried employees to take days off to “unwind, unplug, and take care of themselves and their loves ones,” which can be used to mourn the loss of a pet. Mars Incorporated, which owns the pet nutrition company Mars Petcare, provides its employees with a day off if they lose a pet and, in some departments, even offers “pet-ernity” leave for employees who buy or adopt a new pet.

This raises a question for employees: If you suffer the loss of a pet, are you entitled to paid bereavement leave? The answer is almost certainly not. However, perhaps the above companies have started a trend that will take hold over the next few years. Be sure to check your employee handbook or manual or consult with human resources. Regardless, most employers provide their employees with personal days or other forms of paid time off. Employees may be able to use these days for such purposes.

If you have any questions about your rights to pet bereavement leave, please contact the Law Offices of Damian Christian Shammas, LLC.