Do you think parental leave policies and the culture around it at your company are fair?

Saw an article in the NYT this wkd from a bunch of people at large tech cos who complained that too much work was being pushed into employees without kids.

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The solution to this is hiring interim employees, not lowering parental leave or forcing work onto others. Parental leave should be provided federally so employers are able to hire that interim personnel.

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I'm with you. Love America, but deeply disappointed at times.

My friend in Germany has been on two maternity leaves. Friends in Canada, Korea, and Sweden also experienced long parental leaves (shared between both parents). Taxes are not that much higher, particularly when you factor in state taxes. I understand the dynamics of American defense spending, but we need help here too.

I’m all for companies offering more flexibility for parents but I have felt the brunt of it by being asked to work or travel more pre-COVID because they assume that no kids mean I have no one else in my life.

I don’t like that a parent can get flexibility for their kids but when I had to take care of my mom after surgery I wasn’t given the same flexibility. Or that a parent can easily get time off to go take their kids somewhere but I can’t get the time off to go to a doctor’s appointment. I think it should be less about people with kids and more flexibility for anyone who needs to take care of someone or themselves. Not everyone is going to have the same needs, but when someone does need time off to care for a parent or grandparent or sibling, or take their own appointments, they should get the same consideration.

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Same. I've seen employees at my previous tech company practically not show up half the week because they have go tend to their kids while my manager forced me to submit a doctors note for taking time off from work to see the doctor for the flu. Had to talk to HR because HR told me not to turn in any medical related documents to my direct manager.

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In the covid era companies should have something in place for people caring for covid family as well as kids. An employee might be well and childless, but looking after people hit by covid medically, financially, what have you. That hits productivity hard. If you’re doing that and also have kids, working in the same home where this is all going on? Hoo boy.

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Some companies hire contractors to so the work while staff is out on sick leave or maternity/paternity leave. This seems like the better way to go rather than burn out the remaining staff by making them do their work plus the work of their coworkers who are on leave. Good to spread the jobs around too with so many unemployed and laid off looking for work right now.

One concern is that the contractor setup apparently puts underrepresented minorities in America at a disadvantage, in that they’re often relegated to lower paying contractor work instead of getting the higher paying full time position. I’d support the contractor solution fully if this wasn’t a thing.

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Fair is relative but I’m lucky with 4 months of paid leave. At a big tech company and it’s really only those that provide that kind of leave.

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