Discovery Communications proudly announced a new paid leave policy for U.S. employees today, featuring a significant expansion of the company’s current parental leave benefits as well as a new caregiver leave offering. With the announcement, Discovery joins a small, but growing group of companies committing to enhanced paid family leave benefits in the U.S., where the absence of national regulation has made paid family leave a hot topic in America – today the only industrialize nation in the world without requirements for the benefit.
The new policy extends Discovery’s parental leave benefit to a full 12 weeks of paid leave, and will now offer those same 12 weeks as part of a caregiver leave benefit with an extended definition of family, designed to support employees and their families in the case of serious health conditions. Under the new policy and with the addition of short-term disability and up to two weeks of vacation time, maternity leave will now max at 20 to 22 weeks, depending on delivery. With the option to add up to two weeks of vacation for all parental and caregiver leave, paternity, adoption, foster care placement, and caregiver leave will now max at 14 consecutive weeks.
For new parents and caregivers, the policy offers employees the time they need – and deserve – to spend at home during important periods of family transition, whether welcoming a new child or caring for an ill family member. Announcing the policy today, Discovery’s Chief Human Resources and Global Diversity Officer Adria Alpert Romm emphasized the company’s commitment to supporting employees both at work and at home, where each employee’s circumstances are both unique and constantly evolving. “It is our hope that this new policy will help Discovery’s new parents soak up all of those important early moments and ease the transition period as moms and dads come back to work,” Alpert Romm said. She continued, addressing the most unique aspect of the company’s new policy – its caregiver leave benefit: “While new parents and growing families will be the most common beneficiaries of the expanded program, this policy also is designed to support our employees through all of life’s transitions and a range of family circumstances, many of which can be less joyous and are oftentimes unexpected and unplanned.”
Details of the new policy, called Discovery Cares here at Discovery, can be seen in the infographic below. It’s a proud day for the company, and a great day to be part of the Discovery family!