Intel announced a new employee program today for new parents: eight weeks of paid “bonding time” leave for both mothers and fathers, on top of the company’s existing 13 weeks of paid leave offered to new mothers.
It’s a clear move to woo and retain valuable employees, and a lot more palatable than Apple’s and Facebook’s proposals to freeze female employees’ eggs so they can hold off on childbirth. Ultimately, it could help curb the tech sector’s general hostility toward work interruption, which can ruin careers and drives women in tech to choose between careers and parenting. But opening paid leave for both male and female parents has another benefit–it relieves pressure on same-sex couples who would otherwise need to navigate human resources departments in order to fight for paid time off.
Last week at CES, Intel pledged $300 million to expand diversity in the tech sector, a much-lauded move that the company says is directly in line with its multi-parent expansion of paid leave.
Federal law only requires employers to offer 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave, a sad baseline that puts the U.S. behind 184 other countries in maternity and family leave benefits. To remedy this, President Obama has proposed a two-pronged plan for national expansion of paid leave: $2 billion in incentives for states to administer family leave programs along with six weeks of paid leave for federal employees after the birth or adoption of a child.
[via Oregon Live ]