Large-Scale Companies Change Paid Family Leave Rules (January 21, 2017)

By Janice Podsada, Associated Press

Chris Kinsella is looking forward to taking advantage of a new benefit offered this year by his employer, First Data: two weeks of paid parental leave. The 32-year-old Omaha father welcomed his second child, Everett, a month ago.

In 2015 Kinsella used paid vacation time to spend two weeks with his firstborn, Olive. Kinsella used the same benefit to attend Everett’s birth, but thanks to the company’s new policy, he plans to take two more weeks next month using the paid parental leave benefit to care for the kids and help his partner Sydney get ready to go back to work.

“It gives us a lot more flexibility,” Kinsella said of the new benefit. First Data, a credit-card processor and payments technology company, has more than 5,000 Omaha employees.

For some expectant parents, 2016 was a banner year and December a flag-waver: More than two dozen large employers announced that they would bolster their paid family leave benefits. In December alone at least eight large companies – including First Data, American Express and Ikea – joined the list, said Romy Newman, co-founder of a website that tracks parental leave benefits.

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