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Add this to your list of job demands: Paid vacation for extreme weather


November 14. 2017 9:33PM

Even the workplace has to adapt to the warming world. As climate change creates more intense storms, companies have started preparing for work disruptions due to extreme weather.

In a sign of the times, Fog Creek, a software company based in New York City, recently announced it would provide up to five days of paid “climate leave” for employees who can’t work because of extreme weather events. If there’s a declared state of emergency, the company will give affected employees even more time.

During previous hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters, the company let employees take time off on a case-by-case basis. One Miami-based employee had to evacuate during hurricane Irma, and Sandy displaced most of the company back in 2012. Throughout the storms, Fog Creek continued to pay the staff.

But after seeing reports of people losing their jobs after missing work during this year’s particularly devastating hurricane season, Anil Dash, Fog Creek’s chief executive officer, wanted to formalize paid time off for his workers. The company, which fights for talent with bigger tech firms, such as Google and Facebook, offers its 35 employees generous benefits.

Fog Creek claims that it was one of the first to offer free lunch to its workers.

“There’s no reason not to make your employees feel secure about this,” Dash said. Putting the policy in writing, he said, takes it from a “good intention” to a “promise.” The company hopes its announcement encourages others to implement similar policies.

It appears to be working. Stack Overflow, another Manhattan-based tech company with more than 250 employees, will consider the policy, said Dash, who sits on the board. (The company says it hasn’t formalized their policy yet, but it accommodates employees affected by climate-related occurrences.)

Cylinder, a California design consulting firm, announced it will also offer the benefit.

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