Twitter Drastically Decreases Parental Leave Policy

Twitter has decreased the amount of paid parental leave that it previously offered some U.S. employees by as much as 90%. The San Francisco-based social media company formerly offered employees 20 weeks of paid parental leave. According to an internal memo, Twitter will now provide 12 weeks of paid leave for birthing employees and two weeks of paid leave for non-birthing employees, subject to any requirements under the law in the jurisdictions in which they work.

Elon Musk’s directive comes as other major companies also cut back on employee benefits due to fear of a coming recession. For example, Google reportedly is eliminating fitness classes and some office equipment for employees. Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, expected to announce an additional 10,000 employee layoffs after a similar round last year, has also stopped offering employees free laundry and dry-cleaning services. Salesforce no longer offers its employees an additional “well-being day” or paid day off per month, which it started during the pandemic.

Despite these benefits cuts, which have largely occurred at large tech firms, other firms are not cutting benefits. Unemployment rates remain low, the job market remains competitive, and employee expectations have risen since the pandemic. Furthermore, employee expectations are increasingly focused on work-life balance and family responsibilities, and employees, overall, value paid parental leave programs over many other employee benefits. As a result, some large companies are moving in the opposite direction of Twitter regarding parental leave. For example, Thompson Reuters, a global media firm that employs 26,000 people, announced a 16-week paid parental leave program earlier this year. It is open to all U.S. employees adding a child to their family through birth or adoption, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or marital status.

Nonetheless, the U.S. remains one of the only wealthy countries in the world with no national paid parental leave policy. However, along with some companies offering paid parental leave programs, changes at the state and local levels are occurring. For instance, New York will offer more than 10,000 state employees 12 weeks of fully paid parental leave. President Joe Biden also calls for a national paid family and medical leave program.

HBL has experience in all areas of benefits and employment law, offering a comprehensive solution to all your business benefits and HR/employment needs. We help ensure you are in compliance with the complex requirements of ERISA and the IRS code, as well as those laws that impact you and your employees. Together, we reduce your exposure to potential legal or financial penalties. Learn more by calling 470-571-1007.

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Hall Benefits Law, LLC

HBL offers employers comprehensive legal guidance on benefits in mergers and acquisitions, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), executive compensation, health and welfare benefits, healthcare reform, and retirement plans. We counsel a wide spectrum of clients including small, mid-sized, and large companies, 401(k) investment advisors, health insurance brokers, accountants, attorneys, and HR consultants, just to name a few. HBL is passionate about advising clients, and we are dedicated to our mission: to provide comprehensive, personalized, and practical ERISA and benefits legal solutions that exceed client expectations.

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