Known for its inclusive and supportive working environment, Walmart has applied a bereavement policy for years to assist its employees at the loss of their loved ones.
However, since its bereavement leave policy is not mandatory in the United States, it might drastically differ from other store chains and retailers. Keep scrolling to learn more about how it works and avoid unnecessary confusion!
In this article:
What Is Walmart’s Bereavement Policy?
Walmart allows its employees 3 days of paid bereavement leave when their immediate family members (parents, siblings, children, grandparents, and significant others) pass away. For the loss of non-immediate family members, like uncles, aunts, cousins, or friends, you can still take 3 unpaid days off.
From what I gathered in my survey, most Walmart workers agreed the brand’s bereavement policy is pretty generous. Nevertheless, several companies in the market offer far better benefits, such as Starbucks, which offers 5 days off for their employees. Giants like Google even donate a generous amount of money as “death benefits” to help their associates cover funeral charges.
1. How to Get Bereavement Leave Walmart
Of course, you cannot just pack your things and leave; as part of the policy, your direct manager and supervisor must be informed beforehand.
Specifically, all Walmart associates must apply their LOAs (leaves of absence) requests over the phone or online through Sedgwick, a 3rd-party administrator. Keep in mind the following steps:
- Visit mySedgwick to complete the request form for bereavement leaves, or contact 800-492-5678. Once Sedgwick receives the form, it will verify your eligibility and send your info and request to the store location.
- In most cases, Sedgwick should only take 1 working day to process and approve your request. If you do not receive any new update in the next 24 hours, contact the manager directly and ask about your leave.
- You can leave upon confirmation from your manager/supervisor, and Sedgwick will track and record your leave (3 days).
Note that even if you have already talked to the manager in advance, the requests must still be sent to Sedgwick afterward.
The manager might also ask for proof of your family member’s death, but this does not apply to every store. In that case, you can use a death certificate, visitation booklet, or obituary as evidence.
2. Does Walmart Pay for Bereavement?
Yes, there is a full bereavement pay at Walmart for all three days you are absent. Note that the bereavement leave will not affect the amount of vacation time you saved up beforehand, provided that it only lasts for 3 days.
After 3 days, the exact coverage for the rest of your bereavement depends on your manager and supervisor. So, if you already know beforehand that it will take longer than 3 days, it’s important to discuss the issue with your higher-up as soon as possible; in case of serious cultural circumstances or other unexpected mishaps, Walmart might offer extra paid days and bonuses.
On another note, some stores may ask you to take vacation or unpaid time to cover those extra days off; consider using the rest of your PTO (Part-Time Off) to cover the costs.
Some employees need 1-2 months off to abide by their cultural traditions, while some might not be ready to start working again due to grief. Therefore, always remember to report precisely how long you will be away so that your supervisor can schedule and reassign tasks accordingly.
3. When to Request Your Bereavement Leave
There is no fixed rule regarding this matter. But for your best benefit, I suggest discussing the matter with your manager right after learning about the death. You will have more time to rearrange your remaining workload, and the store can also find someone else to step in.
What Factors Does Your Supervisor Consider When Evaluating The Length Of Your Bereavement Leave?
Walmart supervisors will factor in the following questions to evaluate how long you can leave for bereavement:
1. How Close Are You To The Deceased?
Your managers will consider the relationship between you and that deceased person. For instance, employees will be more likely to grant a long leave if they lose their parents or children; the same might not apply to distant relatives or extended family members.
2. Will It Affect Your Job Possibilities?
The length of the bereavement leave also heavily depends on your current duties and how your absence might affect the ongoing business. If there are any potential disruptions to the workflow, the supervisor will strive to balance the business’ demands with your personal needs.
3. How Long Does The Funeral/Memorial Service Last?
When discussing with your manager, do not forget to mention the length of the memorial service/funeral and your travel time. They are crucial factors in determining the most suitable number of bereavement days that benefit both you and the business.
4. Are There Any Other Leave Options?
Some employees still have other unused leave options, such as sick time, vacation time, etc. As such, the supervisor might allow them to take their leaves longer than 3 days with 100% coverage. If asked, remember to provide the necessary documentation and paperwork.
Is Abortion Or Miscarriage Covered In Walmart’s Bereavement Policy?
Walmart’s bereavement policy applies to the death of a domestic partner, spouse, parent, child, etc. Although the guide does not specifically mention abortion or miscarriage, it does state that Walmart will provide bereavement leave for any event that “causes the associate to grieve the loss of a close relative.”
Therefore, it’s safe to say that abortion or pregnancy loss would be covered under Walmart’s bereavement policy. However, most of the time, these situations will be covered in maternity rather than bereavement leave. It is always best to check with your local Walmart store manager to confirm the specific details of your store’s policy. Not to mention, abortion acts are banned in several states unless they are necessary for the mother’s well-being.
Does Walmart Have A Bereavement Policy for Its Part-Time Employees?
Fortunately, all Walmart employees are granted the same bereavement leave policy regardless of their positions. Long story short, as a part-time or even temporary employee, you still have the same 3-day bereavement leave (100% covered and paid) as full-time associates do.
This article has explained how bereavement works at Walmart for both full-time and part-time employees. Most supervisors are understanding and willing to extend the leave beyond the standard 3 days, but make sure you communicate your needs properly and balance your family care with the business’s demands.
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