The parental leave policies at Charlotte’s biggest employers

The parental leave policies at Charlotte’s biggest employers

Photo: Crescent Communities

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Charlotte’s largest employers have parental leave policies that range from 12 weeks of unpaid leave to more robust 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 170,000 people locally combined.

Why it matters: Competition for talent is fierce nationwide and in Charlotte, and employees all over are quitting their jobs in droves these days. Offering generous parental leave policies is one way employers recruit new talent and aim to show they value their workers.

  • An examination of family policies locally comes as Democrats in Washington are pushing to include items such as childcare in the massive federal infrastructure plan, as Axios’ Alayna Treene recently reported.

Other perks: A number of the companies below (Bank of America, Deloitte, Wells Fargo, Truist, EY, Grant Thornton) offer back-up care for when an employee’s usual childcare options fall through. Others, such as LendingTree, have private nursing rooms for mothers returning to the office. And starting Aug. 1, Red Ventures is expanding a number of its family benefits, including breastmilk shipping for nursing mothers who travel.

Note: All of the benefits below generally apply to full-time employees, and these details came from the companies’ spokespeople or executives directly. These employers are ranked by their local workforce size. Employee counts are current as of July 27 and include those working in the Charlotte metro area.

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Atrium Health

Policy: Six consecutive weeks of paid leave for birth mothers; four consecutive weeks paid leave for parents who do not give birth.

Other family benefits: $3,500 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: Just over 40,800

Wells Fargo

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.

Local employee count: More than 27,000

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Policy: Up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn or adopted child for FMLA-eligible employees. CMS says employees can use accrued annual or personal leave time “in order to receive ‘pay’ during these time periods.”

Local employee count: 19,000

Bank of America

Policy: 16 weeks of paid leave for eligible employees, for a total of 26 weeks of total 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.

Local employee count: 16,000

Lowe’s

Policy: Up to 10 weeks of paid maternal leave; two weeks paid parental leave for non-mothers.

Other family benefits: Up to $5,000 in adoption reimbursement. The company offers fertility coverage, too.

Local employee count: 12,500

Novant Health

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: 12,000

American Airlines

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 infertility treatment.

Local employee count: About 12,000

Food Lion

Policy: Up to six weeks paid parental leave within the first 12 months of a child’s birth, adoption or other legal placement.

Local employee count: 9,200

Duke Energy

Policy: Up to 12 weeks paid time off for birth mothers. That includes six weeks through Duke’s pregnancy-related short-term disability benefit, followed by up to six additional weeks of parental leave pay (fathers can take six weeks of parental leave).

Other family benefits: Up to $5,000 for the costs associated with adopting a child.

Local employee count: 6,000

Truist

Policy: 16 weeks for birth mothers, six weeks for adoptive parents, six weeks for fathers.

Other family benefits: Up to $2,500 toward the adoption process.

Local employee count: 2,800

Ally

Policy: Up to 12 weeks at full salary for both parents during the first year after birth or adoption. Parents don’t have to take this time off sequentially; they can use it flexibly during the first year of life/adoption.

  • This is in addition to Ally’s standard 6-8 week disability leave for childbirth, for a total up to 20 weeks.

Other family benefits: Up to $35,000 per adoption, with a lifetime max of two adoptions; and up to $35,000 per surrogacy with a lifetime max of two surrogacies.

Local employee count: 2,400

EY

Policy: Up to 16 weeks fully paid leave for parents who are welcoming a child through birth, adoption, surrogacy, foster care or legal guardianship.

Other family benefits: Up to $25,000 per family to cover expenses related to infertility, surrogacy and/or adoption.

Local employee count: 1,926

Deloitte

Policy: Up to 16 weeks fully paid after the child’s birth or adoption.

Other family benefits: Up to $50,000 reimbursement for expenses related to adoption or surrogacy.

Local employee count: 1,455

Red Ventures

Policy: Up to six weeks paid leave for new birth parents, new adopted parents, new 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: Up to $12,000 for adoption reimbursement. RV also partners with a company called Progyny to offer fertility treatment, adoption counseling, egg freezing and surrogacy benefits.

Local employee count: 1,400

Honeywell

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.

Other family benefits: $5,000 adoption reimbursement ($10,000 per special needs child).

Local employee count: 1,200

LendingTree

Policy: Up to 12 weeks paid leave for primary caregivers after the birth or adoption of a child. Non-primary caregivers can get up 12 weeks of leave under FMLA, with a maximum of six weeks fully paid.

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: 633

Grant Thornton

Policy: Up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents, which can be taken in two-week increments within the first year of birth or adoption.

Other family benefits: Up to $10,000 reimbursement for adoption and surrogacy.

Local employee count: 400

Walmart

Policy: Up to 10 weeks of paid maternity and six weeks of paid parental leave for birth parents. Birth mothers can receive 16 weeks of paid time away when maternity and parental leave are combined.

Other family benefits: $5,000 adoption benefit

Editor’s note: Axios, which employs 12 locally, offers 12 weeks of paid parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child. 

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