Charlotte’s largest employers have parental leave policies that range from four weeks of paid leave for non-birthing parents to more generous offerings — like 16 weeks fully paid, IVF coverage and $50,000 in adoption reimbursement.
We checked in on the parental leave policies of some of the largest employers in the region, who employ nearly 176,000 people locally combined.
Why it matters: Businesses are constantly competing for talented employees in Charlotte and beyond. Offering progressive parental leave policies is a way many local employers work to recruit and retain young talent and show their staff they value them.
- Financial institutions generally tend to have the most robust parental leave policies and other benefits for new families.
Other perks: A number of the companies below (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, EY, Ally) offer back-up care or subsidies for when an employee’s usual child care options fall through.
- Others offer alternative support for families to grow their families. EY, for instance, offers up to $50,000 per family to cover expenses related to infertility, surrogacy and/or adoption. Ally offers adoption and/or surrogacy assistance of up to $35,000 each for two children.
Note: All of the benefits below generally apply to full-time employees who are enrolled in each company’s health care plan. These details came from the companies’ spokespeople or executives directly. These employers are in order by their local workforce size. Employee counts are current as of October 2023 and include those working in the Charlotte metro area.
Editor’s note: We first published this in July 2021 and updated it in October 2023.
Policy: Six consecutive weeks of paid leave for birth mothers; four consecutive weeks of paid leave for parents who do not give birth.
Other family benefits: $5,000 in assistance for domestic and international adoptions. Additionally, Atrium offers up to 30 days of transitional child care as parents return to work.
Local employee count: More than 41,000
Policy: Up to 16 weeks of paid leave for a primary caregiver, and up to four weeks for a parent who isn’t the primary caregiver, following the birth of a child or an adoption.
Other family benefits: An adoption reimbursement of up to $5,000 per child. The bank also offers 20 days of in-home and center-based backup child care.
Local employee count: Approximately 27,000
Policy: Up to eight weeks of paid leave after giving birth to a child, or up to four weeks of paid leave after any other qualifying event. All full-time or part-time employees may take a leave of absence without pay for up to one calendar year from the date of birth or adoption to care for a newborn child or a newly adopted child.
Local employee count: 21,229
Bank of America
Policy: 16 weeks of paid leave for eligible employees, for a total of 26 weeks of parental leave.
Other family benefits: Up to $20,000 through a Family Planning Reimbursement program, which reimburses employees for adoption or fertility and/or surrogacy expenses. The bank also offers 50 days of back-up child care.
Local employee count: 18,200
Policy: Up to four weeks of paid parental leave, to be used within 12 weeks of a child’s birth or within 16 weeks of placement for adoption.
Other family benefits: Up to $3,500 per child for eligible adoption-related expenses.
Local employee count: 14,000
Policy: Up to 10 weeks of paid maternal leave; four weeks of paid parental leave (which may be used by either the birthing or non-birthing parent).
Other family benefits: Up to $5,000 in adoption reimbursement. The company also offers fertility coverage. Additionally, Lowe’s provides support for children with developmental disabilities, parenting tools and access to support groups.
Local employee count: More than 11,000
Policy: Up to 10 weeks of paid maternity leave.
Other family benefits: Up to $4,000 of eligible adoption-related expenses, and up to $25,000 for treatment to promote fertility.
Local employee count: About 12,000
*Note: This information is current as of July 2022. When contacted in September 2023, an AA spokesperson said the company does not have “any new or updated information to share at this time.”b
Policy: Up to eight weeks of paid parental leave within the first 12 months of a child’s birth, adoption or other legal placement.
Other family benefits: Associates under the company’s healthcare plan receive coverage of medically necessary cryo-preservation healthcare services and a lifetime fertility benefit maximum of $25,000.
Local employee count: 10,892
Policy: Up to 14 weeks of paid leave for birth mothers. Fathers and same-sex partner equivalents get six weeks of paid parental leave following the birth of their child. Employees who foster or adopt children are also eligible for up to six weeks of paid parental leave.
Other family benefits: Up to $25,000 for adoption and/or surrogacy expenses (up to $12,500 per child).
Local employee count: 6,500
Policy: 10 weeks for both birth, nonbirth, adoptive and foster parents. When combined with maternity leave, employees can now take up to 20 weeks of paid leave.
Other family benefits: Up to $10,000 toward the adoption process.
Local employee count: 3,100
Policy: New parents can take up to 14 weeks of paid leave. This means they can take 12 weeks continuously, break the 12 weeks up, or take 10 weeks of full leave then transition back to work with a 50% reduced schedule for four weeks. The policy also includes up to five days of paid time off for miscarriages.
Other family benefits: Adoption and/or surrogacy assistance of up to $35,000 each for two children. Ally employees and spouses on the medical plan can take advantage of up to three full cycles of IVF with no cap on costs (an infertility diagnosis is not needed to use those benefits.) New parents also have access to certified doulas who provide pregnancy and childbirth support up to $2,000 per pregnancy.
Local employee count: 2,800
Policy: Up to 16 weeks of fully paid leave for U.S. employees.
Other family benefits: Up to $50,000 per family to cover expenses related to infertility, surrogacy and/or adoption.
Local employee count: 2,100
Policy: Up to 16 weeks fully paid after the child’s birth or adoption. This policy is gender neutral: A spokesperson says, “fathers, sons, husbands, and brothers can take the leave, relieving some of the often seen cultural pressure on women to be the default caregiver.” Parents can take the leave all at once or in increments.
Other family benefits: Up to $50,000 reimbursement for expenses related to adoption or surrogacy.
Local employee count: Over 2,000
Policy: Up to 20 business days in a consecutive period within a year of the birth, adoption or foster care placement.
- Birth mothers receive a total of up to 10-12 weeks of paid leave (depending on whether the birth is natural or cesarean), with 6-8 weeks of that being short-term disability leave.
- Up to four weeks of leave for spouses.
Other family benefits: Up to $5,000 for the adoption of a child and up to $10,000 for a child with special needs. $20,000 for infertility benefits.
Local employee count: 1,200
Policy: Up to six weeks of paid leave for new birth parents, adopted parents, foster parents/guardians or surrogates. Eligible birth mothers can also combine short-term disability benefits, for a total of up to 12 weeks leave with full base pay.
Other family benefits: Adoption counseling, egg freezing and surrogacy benefits, and access to fertility specialists. RV also offers Milkstork, which provides breastmilk shipping for nursing mothers traveling for business.
Local employee count: 800
Policy: Up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents, which can be taken all at once or in two-week increments within the first year of birth or adoption.
Other family benefits: Up to $10,000 reimbursement for adoption and surrogacy. Subsidized backup child care and adult care, plus free premium membership to Care.com.
Local employee count: 450
Policy: Up to 12 weeks paid for maternity and paternity leave after the birth or adoption of a child.
Other family benefits: Up to $10,000 of expenses directly related to the adoption of a child.
- LendingTree is also expanding medical coverage to include in vitro fertilization treatments. The company provides up to $20,000 for medical and $10,000 for prescription drugs through the health plan after standard cost-sharing is applied.
Local employee count: 350
Editor’s note: Axios, which employs 18 in the Charlotte area, offers 12 weeks of paid parental leave for primary caregivers following the birth or adoption of a child. Secondary caregivers get six weeks fully paid.
- All caregivers can also participate in a flexible return to work program for two additional weeks, fully paid.
- All caregivers are also eligible for a $1,000 caregiver subsidy, and a free Snoo bassinet rental for up to six months.