Is the New Yahoo Maternity Leave Policy A Step Forward?
While the new Yahoo maternity leave policy is a step forward for the company’s public image and employee benefits package, it still does not bring maternity/paternity benefits in line with or above policies provided by key Yahoo! Competitors, such as Facebook and Google. It does, however, place Yahoo! in the lead against the majority of United States-based companies.
The United States, when compared to its European counterparts, offers drastically underwhelming support and benefits for new parents; in the United States, there is no requirement for companies to provide paid benefits to new parents following the arrival of a new child. In fact, the United States is just one of three countries out of 178 that does not require paid maternity leave benefits.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is currently the only in-place regulation surrounding leave coverage. This Act provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that organizations maintain the employee’s group health benefits. Birth of a new child or adoption or foster care placement of a new child are both covered, however, to be eligible, the employee must have been with their employee for a minimum of one year and have worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months. Companies with fewer than 50 employees working within 75 miles of company premises may be exempt.
Beyond paid or unpaid company maternity/paternity leave as determined individual company policies and FMLA, parents-to-be may have the option of leveraging short-term disability coverage. Short-term disability is a type of insurance that covers your salary or a portion of your salary for a pre-determined number of weeks for medically related causes, including maternity. Please note that you need to maintain this type of insurance on an ongoing basis and must have it established before you become pregnant to be eligible for benefits.
Parents may also take or extend leave through sick, holiday, or vacation time, pending their individual company’s policies.