Netflix just announced it is providing unlimited paid leave for its employees during the first year following the birth or adoption of a child. Leave can be taken by moms and dads. A Netflix announcement follows other companies who are offering expanded paid leave benefits. Twitter provides twenty weeks of paid leave for birth moms and other new parents receive ten weeks. Microsoft announced a new policy providing twelve weeks of paid leave for moms and dads, birth moms get an additional eight weeks of paid leave. Facebook provides its employees twelve weeks of paid parental leave. Google provides eighteen weeks of paid leave for birth moms, primary caregivers also receive twelve weeks of paid leave.
In January of this year President Obama issued an executive order requiring six weeks of paid family leave for federal employees after the birth, adoption or foster placement of a new child.
President Obama currently has under consideration a draft executive order requiring any contractor doing business with the federal government to provide at least seven days of paid sick leave to its employees per year. Department of Labor statistics show that lower paid workers do not receive paid sick leave. Just twenty-two percent of workers in the lowest ten percent of wage earners receive any paid sick leave.
Mirroring these changes by private employers and the federal government, local government employers may see an increased demand from labor organizations for more paid leave. As state and local government revenues remain flat or fall, government employers should be prepared to respond to these rising expectations.