Several weeks ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced to the world that he would be taking four months of parental leave to be with his wife and daughter. However, Facebook is not the only company publicly displaying an appreciation for parental leave policies.
PayPal has announced it will expand its paid parental leave policy to eight weeks. In addition, Mothers working at PayPal can take up to 16 weeks of paid leave, with the extra eight weeks referred to as “bonding leave.”
PayPal and Facebook are only two of many California tech companies that have generous paid parental leave policies. Other companies include Amazon, Twitter, Google, eBay and Netflix. In fact, Netflix offers one year of paid parental leave.
Companies are taking on a greater role than state and federal lawmakers in guaranteeing paid parental leave. The United States and Papua New Guinea are the only two countries in the world that do not offer paid parental leave. In the U.S., companies with highly skilled workers are under pressure to retain talented employees. This is especially true in the tech industry, which is staffed with engineers, coders and other careers with a background in science. By denying these employees parental leave, talented workers could be lost.
Not All Parental Leave Policies Are Equal
Although some companies are offering generous parental leave policies, others are not. For example, some giant retailers have less appealing parental leave policies. According to an article in New Republic, WalMart’s paid parental leave policy is only 90 days. Whether we are discussing mothers or fathers, having children takes an enormous amount of time and responsibility.
Parents need time to care for their children, and should not have to worry about whether they will lose income. Perhaps Silicon Valley will play a larger role in changing parental leave policies around the nation, putting the pressure on lawmakers to do the same.
In California, some workers are eligible for the Paid Family Leave Act, which can provide 55 percent income for six weeks.