Lululemon is Giving Paid Maternity Leave to Employees Who Work Just 24 Hours a Week

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Working Mother69
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May 29, 2024 at 3:10AM UTC
If you’re a fan of Lululemon’s comfy yogawear, there’s another reason to feel good while wearing it: The company is now offering paid maternity, paternity and adoption leave to all employees who work 24 hours a week or more.
On Wednesday, Lululemon Athletica Inc. announced the new benefit, aimed at boosting retention and morale for employees at all levels, from in-store associates to senior leaders.
After two years with the company, full-time employees can receive three months of maternity, paternity or adoption leave at full pay. After five years' tenure, employees will get six months at full pay. Employees are considered full-time if they work at least 24 hours a week.
The policy follows in the footsteps of several other retail giants who expanded their paid parental leave policies in recent years, including Starbucks and Walmart. Many retailers have faced criticism for offering paid leave to salaried employees in their corporate offices but not to their hourly associates. (That’s if they offer paid leave at all. Many don’t. Only 16 percent of workers in the U.S. have access to paid family leave, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)
That’s what makes Lululemon’s new policy so generous: It applies to workers who clock in just 24 hours a week. For comparison, Starbucks' highly praised expanded benefit is available to those who work 20 or more hours a week. Walmart’s leave is now available to all hourly associates, but only those who work full-time—which accounts for about 50 percent of their workforce.
According to Bloomberg, the majority of Lululemon’s full-time staffers in the U.S. have been with the company for two or more years, while one-fifth have worked there five or more years, so the benefit stands to cover a decent portion of the company’s U.S. workforce. (Lululemon is based in Canada, where paid maternity leave is offered to all working moms through a government unemployment insurance program. Since the compensation is partial, Lululemon will offer a “paid top-up” to Canadian staff, Susan Gelinas, senior vice president for people and culture at Lululemon, said in an interview with Bloomberg.)
“When you think about an investment, there’s also all of those areas where it’s really hard to quantify because of the contribution and the return,” Gelinas told Bloomberg. “We just see this as something that’s right to do for our people.”
— Audrey Goodson Kingo

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