American workers are some of the only ones in the world who aren’t entitled to federally mandated parental leave. While some top employers voluntarily allow employees with growing families to stay home and collect a paycheck, many in the U.S. must make do with unpaid leave via the Family and Medical Leave Act … or whatever time off they can cobble together between vacation, sick leave, and so on.
As a result, many working parents—mothers in particular—have to return to work before they’re ready. In fact, one in four mothers take as little as two weeks off after giving birth.
But for workers at one California-based credit union, balancing work and a new baby is as easy as bringing the newborn to work. That’s right: both moms and dads at Schools Financial Credit Union in Sacramento, Calif. are allowed to bring their newborns to work until they’re six months old, or crawling.
“Even though you get to have time off under the law and all that, some people can’t afford to take off as much time as others,” Schools Financial Credit Union VP of Human Resources Lisa Mackay told KXTV. “So they end up being forced to come back to work sooner than they would want, and [have] to put their child in daycare. This gives them the option to come back to work, but still be able to stay with their baby.”
Mackay says that the company is aware that employees with new babies will have to split their attention between their newborns and their jobs, but that’s OK: “We know going in the employee is not going to be 100 percent productive. That is just part of the program, and it’s part of the intention of the program. It’s not a problem.”
Since the program’s start in 2001, 130 babies have participated in the program. Nearly 20 percent of the parents involved were dads.
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Would a program like this help your work-life balance, or would the distractions of babies at work hurt your productivity? Tell us your thoughts on Twitter or leave a comment.