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Starbucks Officially Offers Paternity Leave For Its Employees

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Joining the ranks of few global corporations, Starbucks announced earlier this month that they would be adding paternity leave to their employment benefits and also be extending benefits for maternity leave. While many companies offer maternity leave, though the rules vary for each workplace, paternity leave is rare to find within a corporation but is becoming a growing trend.

While federal regulations stipulate that companies must offer unpaid maternity leave for new mothers, some companies, including IKEA, Microsoft, Netflix and now Starbucks are going above and beyond. Initially, new birth moms had the opportunity to take 6 weeks off from work at Starbucks at 67 percent of their regular pay. With the new benefits, they can now take 6 weeks off at 100 percent of their pay. They can also take an additional 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

To be a benefits-eligible barista, an employee must work a minimum of 20 hours per week consistently. Any barista that is benefits-eligible but not a birth mom (such as a new father, adoptive or foster parent) can now take 12 weeks of unpaid leave off while guaranteeing that their job will still be available when they return. Though the leave is unpaid, this is a huge step up from the complete lack of leave they offered for new parents prior to the change.

Credit: Ted S. Warren

These changes follow a recent slew of improvements the company made for their employees in mid-2016, including a 5 percent pay raise and a more relaxed dress code. Kevin Johnson, the president and COO of Starbucks, said, 

“While we have made substantial investments in our partners, we want to continue to do more. This is one of many steps we are actively taking to evolve our benefits and create a Partner Experience that lives up to our aspirations.”

Starbucks continues to change, both internally and externally, and sometimes these transitions are met with backlash. They recently announced that they would be hiring 10,000 refugees over the next 5 years around the globe in response to President Donald Trump’s ban on travel into the U.S. for immigrants and refugees from 7 countries. Though the company continues to make similar commitments to homeless veterans and those living in low-income neighborhoods, the decision was still struck down by conservatives who view the refugee hiring as an affront to American values and a danger to all who will be served coffee.

Whether their decision is right or wrong is a matter of opinion, but in general it’s great to see a company evolve to meet the needs of both their employees and people in need around the world. Hopefully they continue to grow along with global demands.

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