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20 Companies With Great Paternity Leave

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil on September 30, 2014 06:35 PM

Editor's Note:  Some of the information in this post has changed since publication.  For an up-to-date version, please check out the post: 30 Companies With Great Paternity Leave

Studies show how important it is for new dads  to bond with their babies after birth, but many working fathers simply don't get the opportunity, due to the lack of an option to take paid time off. 

In the United States, new parents in companies with more than 50 employees can take 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, but there is no policy mandating paid leave of any kind.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 15 percent of American companies go above and beyond the guaranteed 12 weeks of unpaid time off by offering new dads at least some amount of time when they can be with their new baby and still get paid.

Here are 20 companies that go above and beyond and offer paid leave.

  1. Reddit: 17 weeks

  2. Facebook: 16 weeks

  3. Bank of America: 12 weeks

  4. Yahoo: eight weeks

  5. Patagonia: eight weeks

  6. Google: seven weeks

  7. Twitter: six weeks

  8. Arnold and Porter: the primary caregiver gets 18 weeks of paid time off and the secondary caregiver gets six weeks

  9. Comcast: four weeks (with the option of an additional eight without pay)

  10. Microsoft: four weeks

  11. Trip Advisor: four weeks

  12. McKinsey and Company: four weeks

  13. Covington and Burling LLP: four weeks for non-primary caregivers

  14. PricewaterhouseCoopers: three weeks

  15. McGraw-Hill Financial: three weeks

  16. Deloitte: three weeks

  17. Discovery Communications: three weeks

  18. Fannie Mae: 20 days

  19. Wal-Mart: 2 weeks (with an option for an additional six without pay)

  20. Ernst and Young: two weeks (six weeks for primary caregivers)

And many other companies offer extra time that is unpaid, including General Mills and KPMG LLP, which both offer 26 weeks of leave (up to two of which are paid for eligible employees).

RELATED: 5 Reasons New Dads Need Paternity Leave

The United States versus the World

But how do the United States' leave policies compare to other countries? Unfortunately, we lag far behind when it comes to giving paid time off to working families.

For 40 years, parents in Sweden have been able to share time off -- up to a whole year with pay -- after the birth of a child. And many other countries are adopting a form of shared parental leave that gives moms and dads the ability to divide up the time as it works best for them. Britain recently adopted a policy where new moms take the first two weeks of a parental leave, but the remainder of the time (up to 12 months) can be split between two parents who will receive a portion of their full salary.

Then there's the other side of the spectrum. In China and India (which both have generous maternity leave policies), fathers don’t even get a single unpaid day after the birth of a child.

Unfortunately, even with generous policies like the ones above, most new dads in America don’t take advantage of paternity leave, often worried that it may reflect poorly on their career inspirations. 85 percent of new dads take some time off after the baby is born, but most of them are back at work within a week or two.

If you want things to change, ask your company and HR department for better policies. Dads need time with baby, too -- and moms need the extra help.

RELATED: 7 Companies With Innovative Parental Leave Policies

If you're in human resources, how does your company's policy measure up? Adding paid paternity leave to your benefits package is a great way to appeal to employees.

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