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 172,000 people locally combined.

Why it matters: Competition for talent is fierce nationwide and in Charlotte. Offering generous parental leave policies is one way employers recruit new talent and aim to show they value their workers.

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 have increased their benefits over the last year. Truist, for instance, raised its adoption reimbursement from $2,500 to $10,000 Jan. 1. EY doubled its “Pathways to Parenthood” program last September and now offers $50,000 for services such as surrogacy and egg freezing — up from $25,000.

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 26 and include those working in the Charlotte metro area.

Editor’s note: We first published this in July 2021 and updated it in July 2022.

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: 18,200

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: 13,500

Lowe’s

Policy: Up to 10 weeks of paid maternal leave; four 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

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 treatment to promote fertility.

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

*Note: This information is current as of July 2021. An updated policy and employee count was not available as of July 26, 2022.

Duke Energy

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

Truist

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

Other family benefits: Up to $10,000 toward the adoption process.

Local employee count: 2,800

Ally

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. Parents don’t have to take this time off sequentially; they can break the time up if they choose.

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: 2,500

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 $50,000 per family to cover expenses related to infertility, surrogacy and/or adoption, including egg freezing and sperm preservation if deemed medically necessary.

Local employee count: 2,035

Deloitte

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

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 and up to $20,000 total for surrogacy reimbursement. RV also partners with a company called Progyny to offer fertility treatment, adoption counseling, egg freezing and surrogacy services.

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.
  • Up to four weeks of leave for spouses.

Other family benefits: $20,000 in fertility benefits (up from $5,000 previously).

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

*Note: This information is current as of July 2021. An updated policy and employee count was not available as of July 26, 2022.

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: 470

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

*Note: This information is current as of July 2021. An updated policy and employee count was not available as of July 26, 2022.

Editor’s note: Axios, which employs 18 in the Charlotte area, offers 12 weeks of paid parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child. 

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