It may be easier for Facebook, but some small businesses have figured out the finances and logistics of offering paid leave.
In recent years, a few well-capitalized companies (Google, Netflix, Facebook) have competed over who can offer the most generous parental leave. But these companies are rare; according to the Department of Labor, only 12% of private sector workers have access to paid family leave through their employers. One reason that figure is so low is that many Americans work for small businesses, and it‚Äôs assumed that small businesses can‚Äôt afford to fund time off.
Yet some small business managers and owners say that‚Äôs not so cut and dried. The finances and logistics aren‚Äôt easy, but they‚Äôre not impossible either.
First, paid parental leave is not always as pricey as advertised. The Little Gym International, a chain of children‚Äôs gyms based in Arizona, recently decided to allow both male and female employees who work at company headquarters to take six paid weeks plus six unpaid weeks after a birth or adoption. As part of this policy, the company decided not to hire temps to cover leaves; employees cover for each others‚Äô absences.