In a political climate that is in many ways more divided than at almost any other point in history, there may be agreement on both sides of the aisle in Congress.
According to a recent article by Andie Burjek that appeared at Workforce.com, between 2015 and 2017 the number of employers that announced they would be offering paid family leave to their workers dramatically increased.
As Burjek and other Workforce writers have reported, the gender gap and discrimination surrounding maternity leave policies has favored mothers and mostly left out fathers or even adoptive parents from baby-bonding leave. Such stark differences in leave policies that are based on often outmoded ideas of who is considered a primary caregiver are significant as are the differences in the amount of time between lower and higher wage earners in the workforce receive.
The nonprofit organization Paid Leave for the United States(PL+US) recently released a report indicating that 94% percent of low-income parents who work have little to no access to paid family leave, This is further backed up by data collected by the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Such policies are only offered to workers who are in white collar or higher paid salaried employees within the corporate sphere. Hourly employees, on the other hand, are often left out of such leave benefits even though the majority of the U.S. workforce is made up of employees who receive hourly wages.
Not surprisingly, some of the country’s biggest employers will offer such benefits only to corporate workers while shortchanging hourly workers. Notable exceptions who have remade their family leave policies more equal across the board are companies which include Apple, IKEA, Levi’s, Nordstrom, Bank of America, Chase and Hilton Hotels.
Burjek indicated in her article that she is planning a larger feature in a future edition which focuses more deeply on the issue of paid family across the U.S. She has indicated that it is slated to appear in the November/December issue of Workforce,
More employers, according to Burjek, would like to offer employee parental leave in the future. There are some current policies, however, that are holding a few of them back in the meantime. The upcoming legislative session will give employers a greater idea as to what they can offer to workers in the future.
Income and benefits equality in the work force has undoubtedly come a long way, but as you can see, for some workers, there’s still a long way yet to go. HR professionals fulfill an important and integral role and are there to ensure that all policies toward equal opportunity in the workforce are adhered to in accordance to the law and the ever-changing legislative landscape.
At NetPEO, we understand the challenges that small to medium sized companies face in finding the ideal candidate and providing the right amount of pay and benefits compensation. Whether you need to hire an employee or help manage and keep your top talent for your organization or need advice on any aspect of human resource management, we are here to help. Contact us today at 888-981-3622 (emc2) to find out more.