August 5 2015
Cincinnati Local 12
CINCINNATI (Paula Toti) -- If people are having a baby they might wish they worked for Netflix.
The company said it was going to give unlimited leave to moms and dads. They can take as much time as needed the first year of their child's life. It was a bold move similar to what's done in a lot of European countries.
Local 12 News spoke with a local expert on company benefits who said most companies in the Tri-State offer what they have to under the law; at large companies that would be up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. If they get more generous they can pay 6-8 weeks of partial pay through short term disability or their own contribution. The most generous of the larger local companies have started to pay full salaries of 6 to 12 weeks.
If people don't get full salary paid maternity leave they aren't alone. The government said only 11 percent of workers get that benefit. The Netflix move to a full year is considered something that may be needed to attract works in the tech world. In the world where most people live it's a benefit people would love.
And men are getting that benefit at Netflix too. People might wonder if such a benefit will be abused. The group "Independent Women's Forum" said no. It said career pressure in the workplace already has most workers taking only half the vacation days they're given.
There are moves at the federal level to expand maternity benefits that could ripple through the Tri-State. President Obama wants Congress to pass a law that would give federal workers six weeks of paid maternity leave. Earlier in 2015 he signed a memo that allows some federal workers to tap into future sick time to cover leave.
Still, benefits like what's happening at Netflix seem to be reserved for the Silicon Valley, but in the Tri-State tech world? As local workers look at Netflix, do they even expect the same in the Tri-State someday? The University of Cincinnati told Local 12 News it offers 4 to 8 weeks of medical leave and beyond that there is "child rearing leave" but it's unpaid and only paid if you have enough vacation time to use for that purpose.