Better parental leave or you better believe parents leave
March 18th, 2019 by Jake Rubenstein at Cozen O'Connor
It’s Time To Be Creative: Historically Low Unemployment Rates Fuel New Approaches To Parental Leave
In October 2018, NPR reported that the U.S. unemployment rate had dropped to 3.7 percent, the lowest rate in 50 years. In some states, like Colorado, where I live, the rate is even lower (3.1 percent, per Denver Post). Record low unemployment and a trend towards more progressive and creative thinking about benefits has led to some imaginative new approaches to parental leave. In this HR Headaches post, I’ll summarize five of the cutting-edge parental leave benefits employers are using to attract and retain top talent in a competitive job market. HR professionals should take note of these inventive ways to help employees with children balance work and life because I’ll bet that your competitors are.
1– Unlimited parental leave … yes, that’s right, some employers (a prominent TV/media company, for example) offer “unlimited” paid parental leave. At the media company, however, unlimited leave is confined to the first year after birth or adoption. It is available equally to moms and dads, so give this employer points for having an eye on equity.
2 –Six months paid leave for all new parents + help transitioning back to work … not as dramatic-sounding as the unlimited leave policy, but solid: a digital music company has a generous parental leave policy that gives new moms and dads six months off with pay. And, to help new parents transition back to work, the company offers flexible work options, including work from home, part-time and flexed hours.
3 –Leave share benefit for non-employee spouse … A major online retailer gets points for the imaginative nature of this benefit: this retailer has a “leave share” program that allows employees to share their benefits with a spouse or partner who doesn’t work at the company and lacks paid parental leave. At this online retailer, birth mothers get 20 weeks of paid leave in total. They can “share” six of those weeks with a spouse or partner who does not receive paid parental leave. The mechanism for the sharing is converting six weeks of paid leave to cash, which can substitute for income lost by the other parent whose employer does not offer paid parental leave. This company also offers new parents a “Ramp Back” period of up to 8 weeks during which they can opt for a reduced schedule.
4 –One year of paid leave … a charitable foundation gets the award for simplicity: the foundation offers new parents up to 52 weeks of paid parental leave in the first year following birth. It’s basically the unlimited leave benefit, but without the “unlimited” moniker.
5 – All the pay with less work … starting in January, 2019, new moms who work for a fast casual dining chain (assistant managers and higher) can reduce their work schedule to 80 percent with 100 percent pay for four weeks before and four weeks after a six-week fully-paid maternity leave. This restaurant chain also offers adoption assistance of up to $10,000 and breast milk shipment during business travel. Without a doubt, this employer deserves credit for thinking creatively about benefits in an industry (fast casual dining) not known for having top-level parental leave benefits.
The benefits of offering generous benefits are real: as you battle competitors for top talent, take a look at your parental leave policy and ask yourself whether it could use some creative updating.
This blog was written by Jake Rubenstein at Cozen O'Connor, which authors our Minnesota Human Resources Manual, New York Human Resources Manual, and Pennsylvania Human Resources Manual. You can find the original post on their HR Headaches blog.
Common Pitfalls for Emerging Companies
Founders of emerging companies are often first-time employers and find themselves having to wade through the dense patchwork of state and federal labor and employment laws. This can be a confusing undertaking that often requires legal counsel. However, th...
This blog was written by Darryl McCallum at Shawe Rosenthal, author of our Maryland Human Resources Manual. You can find the original and their Labor & Employment Report blog on their website.
Employers Beware: What You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You!
Holiday stew – we all have our own recipe, but the base is almost always the same: booze, mistletoe and a generous pinch of unapproved time off. And be sure you don't have enough time to prepare or clean up.
Join Gary Wheeler and Lori Mans for an hour as they provide the ingredients and know-h...
This blog was written by Deidra Nguyen at Littler Mendelson, which authors our Model Policies and Forms for Maine Employers. You can find the original post and their Dear Littler (which is excellent) on their website.
Dear Littler: What is the Story with Employee Election Leave?
This blog was written by Robin Shea at Constangy, which authors our Model Policies and Forms for Georgia Employers and our New Jersey Human Resources Manual. You can find the original on their Employment & Labor Insider blog (which is one of our favorites and is excellent).
This blog was written by Thomas E. Reddin and Henry J. Thomas at Polsinelli. Polsinelli authors hrsimple resources in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. You can find the original blog post and their labor and employment blog Polsinelli at Work (which is excellent) on their website.
No call. No show. Assume they quit. Find a replacement. Move on.
Then who shows up but Ms. Nocall Noshow.
Depends on what happened, your policy, potential laws (ADA? FMLA?), disabilities, stuff, junk.
SHRM helps, with help from our author Fisher Phillips and long-time friend...
This blog was written by Fiona Ong at Shawe Rosenthal, author of our Maryland Human Resources Manual. You can find the original blog and their Labor & Employment Report newsletter on their website.
Time to Update Those FMLA Forms!!!
Fiona W. Ong
Finally! The new Family and Medi...
This blog was written by Jason Plowman at Polsinelli. Polsinelli authors hrsimple resources in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. You can find the original blog post and their labor and employment blog Polsinelli at Work (which is excellent) on their website.
Back to School Edition: School-...
This blog was written by Shennan Harris at Squire Patton Boggs. Shennan is a co-author of our Wages and Hours – An Employer's Guide. You can find the original blog post and their Employment Law Worldview on their website.
State Law Round-Up: New Sick Leave, Sexual Harassment Laws and Othe...
This blog was written by Kat Cunnignham, president of Moresource Inc., a member of the Missouri Chamber. You can find the original blog post on the mobile edition of Missouri Chamber's Missouri Business
Traditionally, most companies have offered a paid leave package to employees that diff...
This blog was written by Fiona Ong at Shawe Rosenthal, our author of the Maryland Human Resources Manual. You can find the original blog post here and their Labor & Employment Report newsletter (which is excellent) here.
In a previous post about pet bereavement leave, I noted that t...
This blog is an excerpt from our book An Employer's Guide to FMLA and ADA, authored by Nancy Van der Veer Holt at Ford Harrison LLP. For more state specific leave information, go to the Products tab above and subscribe to the Human Resources Manual for your state.
FMLA coverage for employers
FMLA contains "leave", as in "the employee isn't at work" but also as in "leave the employee alone or else". See what the boundaries are to avoid the "or else" from one of our authors @Ogletree Deakins.
What is paternity leave?
Sometimes referred to as “family leave” or “parental leave”, paternity leave is an excused absence from work to care for and bond with a new child - whether by birth, adoption, or foster. This leave can vary in duration and may be paid or unpaid.
Are employers requi...
Legally mandated family leave policies have a relatively short history in the United States, and a requirement that the leave be paid is even shorter. In 1993, Congress enacted the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) after finding that employees were having to choose between working and taking ca...