[Note: there’s a link to a survey at the end. But if you don’t want to wade through the post first, you can access the survey here.]
I’d been practicing law for about a year when my first daughter was born; when she was born, my law firm offered one week of paid paternity leave. A couple years later, when my second was born, it had upped its paid paternity leave to four weeks.[fn1] (It offers 18 weeks of paid leave for primary caregivers, and up to another 18 weeks of unpaid leave.)
In Conference in 2011, Elder Cook described one of his aspirations for members of the church:
I would hope that Latter-day Saints would be at the forefront in creating an environment in the workplace that is more receptive and accommodating to both women and men in their responsibilities as parents.
Two years later, he talked about a discussion he had in his legal practice. A colleague mentioned to him that she felt she was juggling her work, her children, and her marriage, and wasn’t entirely sure she could do it successfully. As a result, after discussing her experience with other attorneys at his firm,
[w]e decided that our goal would be a family-friendly environment for both women and men. Let us be at the forefront in protecting time for family.
Almost everybody agrees that parental leave is good for children, good for parents, good for families, and even good for employers.[fn2] And yet the United States is at the very bottom of the OECD in terms of federally-mandated paid parental leave, and at or toward the bottom for protected parental leave.[fn3] U.S. federal law requires employers with 50 or more employees to offer a minimum of 12 weeks of parental, and none of it has to be paid.
The FMLA just provides a lower bound, though. I’m curious how the employers of bloggernacle readers stack up. So I’ve put together a survey to find out how much maternity and paternity leave various employers offer.
A couple caveats and requests: first, and most importantly, this is not scientific. I’m not going to get a random sample, and my answers won’t show anything statistically significant about the state of parental leave. Rather, it’ll give us some anecdotes. But they’ll be interesting anecdotes.
Second, the data won’t necessarily be reliable. I sincerely hope that those of you who participate will be honest, because it’s a lot more interesting that way. But your responses will be anonymous, and, for the most part, I won’t have any way to fact-check them.
That said, I’m going to make charts anyways. Because charts are fun.
Also, I’m looking for the policies for full-time employees, the type of people who, in the U.S., get W-2s from their employers.
Survey available here.
[fn1] Willkie still offers a generous 4 weeks of paid leave to secondary care providers. In fact, law firms seem to be among those industries at the forefront (in the United States, at least) of parental leave: a friend’s law firm offers 10 weeks of paid paternity leave.
[fn3] Actually, I can’t necessarily say that: the data didn’t include Chile, for some reason, so we may be second-to-last.