Alerting co-workers and supervisors of the death of a family member or close friend may seem like a trivial task in the early stage of grieving. However, these notifications are important to keep co-workers and supervisors apprised of the affected worker's plans to observe shiva and/or other mourning customs. In addition, these notifications allow co-workers to take over key responsibilities during the employee's absence and provide valuable updates upon his or her return.

This may also be an opportune time to discuss the company’s bereavement policy with a supervisor or human resources representative. Although a bereavement policy serves as a guide for employers, each situation is unique. Depending on an individual's mourning customs, exceptions to the stated policy may occasionally be made.