Report: These big U.S. businesses offer no paid family leave, or keep it secret

More than half of America's 60 biggest employers offer no paid family leave or will not disclose family leave policy, according to a study released Wednesday by Paid Leave for the United States(PL+US).

PL+US confirmed paid leave policies at 29 of the companies it surveyed. Other companies would not make policies available, according to the report. (Note: During the study conducted June through October, HP acquired Electronic Data Systems and Marriott International acquired Starwood Hotels.)

Eight companies, BoeingFedEx, Honeywell International, HP, Infosys Limited, Marriott International, TJX and Walgreens, specifically wrote to PL+US to decline sharing leave information.

"A part of this work is our call for transparency," executive director Katie Bethell told USA TODAY.

The new non-profit reached out to each of the 60 companies using a minimum of four email addresses found online, as well as follow-up phone calls to company headquarters, according to Bethell.

What surprised researchers?

"Not having leave for adoptive parents just blew my mind," Bethell said.

Out of the 29 confirmed company policies, PL+US found 22 offer unequal leave — meaning, fathers receive less time than mothers and/or adoptive parents receive less time than birth parents.

AT&T, CVS, General Motors, Ford, Starbucks, Supervalu and Verizon offer no paternity leave.

Millennial fathers want to take a more active role in their children's lives, but Bethel said current leave policies "hang dads out to dry" and deny them "the opportunity to be the dads they want to be."

Trends like this have "far-reaching implications for LGBTQ parents as well," the PL+US study states.

Which companies came out on top? DeloitteBank of America, and Ernst & Youngprovide 16 weeks of fully paid parental leave for mothers, fathers, and adoptive parents, according to the study.

"Even companies that may have maternity and paternity leave policies often only offer that to the highest paid employees," Bethell said.

As cited in the study, Walmart provides paid leave only to salaried employees, not hourly.

View the full list of companies PL+US studied at  paidleave.us/topcompanies

In the U.S., the Family Medical Leave Act, gives 12 weeks job-protected unpaid leave, but many workers don't qualify for that. Unlike nearly all countries around the world, the U.S. also offers no paid leave for parents, as visible in a map by World Policy CenterNew Zealand, France, Spain and Russia are among countries to offer at least 14 weeks of maternity leave paid in full.


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