Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has informed the company’s 45,000 employees that they will all receive their six-month bonuses and an additional $1,000 bonus to help them during the coronavirus outbreak, Facebook sources told NBC News on Tuesday.
The bonuses will be paid as if employees have “exceeded expectations,” giving them the maximum possible amount. The company is also sending thousands of content moderators home but will continue to pay them.
“We recognize that many people are going to need more time away to care for children and their families,” Zuckerberg wrote in a memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News. “We also know that many of you may have additional expenses as part of setting up your home to enable remote work and support your family. We’re going to grant all employees an additional $1,000 to use for whatever you see fit to support yourself and your family in adapting during this period.”
The news, first reported by technology news website The Information, came on the same day that the company’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, announced that Facebook would be investing $100 million to help small businesses in over 30 countries.
“We’ve listened to small businesses to understand how we can best help them,” Sandberg wrote in a Facebook post. “We’ve heard loud and clear that financial support could enable them to keep the lights on and pay people who can’t come to work.”
Taken together, the steps mark the most aggressive effort yet by a major American company to alleviate the financial toll of the coronavirus outbreak.
The move to pay workers comes as labor advocates are pushing for more direct assistance to workers. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday that the White House is looking to get cash into the hands of Americans as quickly as possible.