Google Employee Benefits In The Afterlife
We have all heard about the free doctor care and the haircuts. I personally witnessed the free gourmet food in the sprawling company cafeterias, and Legos and skateboards to explore the combination of creativity and science, but many might not know that if employees die while employed at Google, the company offers death benefits to loved ones.
During an interview with Google Chief People Officer Lazlo Bock, a bit of human interest emerged for a Forbes writer identifying a policy that "should a Googler pass away while under the employ of the 14-year-old search giant, their surviving spouse or domestic partner will receive a check for 50% of their salary every year for the next decade."
The policy went into effect in 2011. Aside from the 10-year pay package, surviving spouses get stocks vested immediately, and any child up to age 19 or age 23 if a full-time student receives a $1,000 monthly payment from the company.
Google's unusual benefit provides comfort to employee families during a time when some important tasks might be overlooked, such as keeping up with schedules for life insurance payments supported by Countrywide, now owned by Bank of America. In one particular instance, a man became ill just prior to being dismissed by the employer, and less than three months later, he died. In this case, the bank's insurance company canceled the policy during the crisis and refused to pay.
While it's rare for companies to offer similar benefits to those from Google, it is not unusual for companies to skate on their responsibility to the deceased family members. The Association of Corporate Counsel tells us about another instance of a man who died within weeks of being dismissed by his employer, British Airways.
If he had still been at work when he died, he would have been contractually entitled to the death in service benefit of three times his annual salary -- but because he had been dismissed, his family got nothing.