Beginning next January, Coca-Cola will offer U.S. employees who are new parents — including mothers, fathers, adoptive parents and those providing foster care — six weeks of paid leave.
The new benefits will supplement the time off Coke currently gives to birth mothers — roughly six to eight weeks of paid leave — through short-term disability.
“Fostering an inclusive workplace means valuing all parents – no matter their gender or sexual orientation,” Ceree Eberly, Coke’s Chief People Officer, said on the company’s website Monday. “We think the most successful way to structure benefits to help working families is to make them gender-neutral and encourage both moms and dads to play an active role in their family lives.”
The company, citing statistics from the Society for Human Resource Management, said 21 percent of large U.S. businesses offered paid maternity leave in 2015, up from 12 percent in 2014.
A key component of Coke’s new policy is gender neutrality. By offering the paid leave to both women and men, the company hopes to avoid a “moms-only” bias that some have argued has cost women job opportunities.