Childless employees of tech companies have been demanding that they be given the same benefits extended to parents during the pandemic.
Workers at Facebook, Twitter and Salesforce have all complained about discrimination, The New York Times reported on Saturday.
In March, Facebook offered up to 10 weeks of paid time off for employees if they had to care for a child whose school or day care facility had closed, or for an older relative whose nursing home was not open.
Google, Twiiter, Microsoft and many of tech firms extended similar paid leave to employees dealing with children at home or a sick relative.
But many employees complained that they were not receiving the same treatment simply because they had chosen not to have children. One Facebook staff member called the policies 'unfair', while at Twitter an employee accused a coworker and parent of not pulling their weight on an internal forum.
Parents have hit back, however.
'The time off that parents are getting isn't a vacation,' one pointed out.
Tech companies have been among the most generous to parents - sparking a backlash
Facebook offered 10 weeks of paid time off for employees whose child couldn't attend school
Tech firms were among the first to pivot to working from home, and among the first to roll out policies to help working parents.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive and a father of two, announced that the company would not be conducting its usual employee assessments for the first half of 2020 because there was 'so much change in our lives and our work.'
Every Facebook employee would receive bonus amounts usually reserved for very good performance scores.
That angered some employees without children, who felt that if they worked more they should be paid more.
On August 20 Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, hosted a videoconference for the entire staff, and more than 2,000 employees voted to ask her what more Facebook could do to support those without children, since its other policies had benefited parents.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, said the policies benefit all staff
Online, the Times article sparked fierce debate, with parents saying it was not a vacation
The question elicited fierce debate on the message board beneath the videoconference screen.
One employee said it was 'unfair' that non-parents could not take the additional 10 weeks off, and another said it was 'easy breezy' for parents to be granted leave, but hard for all others.
A parent hit back, saying the question to Sandberg was 'harmful'.
Another parent wrote, in screenshots seen by The New York Times: 'Please don't make me and other parents at Facebook the outlet for your understandable frustration, exhaustion and anger in response to the hardships you're experiencing due to Covid-19.'
Sandberg said she 'disagreed with the premise of the question' - denying that the 10 weeks additional leave and freeze on performance ratings were primarily benefiting