In response to the Walmart’s announcement today on extending their paid parental leave policy, Paid Leave for the US (PL+US) Executive Director Katie Bethell, released the following statement:
“Make no mistake: today’s move by Walmart, our nation’s largest private employer, will change the benefits game nationwide for all workers. Today, Walmart took a step in the right direction for low-wage working families, and provided a huge win for hundreds of thousands of working families with a parent at Walmart.
“For decades, Walmart has set the ‘floor’ for worker wages and benefits in America, and today they lifted that floor and transformed access to parental leave for low-wage working people across the country. Companies now must offer at least 10 weeks of fully paid leave to be competitive in attracting the best blue collar employees.
But while this is a huge step, Walmart and the U.S. still have a long way to go before every American has paid family leave. The U.S. is the only industrialized country without a national paid family leave policy. Pediatricians recommend six months of time at home with a parent for new babies, not six or 10 weeks, and Walmart still leaves part time workers -- who make up half their workforce -- completely out in the cold. We can and must do better for America’s families.”
Over the last year, Walmart workers, OUR Walmart, and PL+US have loudly advocated for better paid parental leave at Walmart including:
· An online petition started by Walmart employees with over 100,000 signatures;
· A viral video: highlighting the experience of a woman who worked at Walmart and had to go back to work less than two weeks after her baby was born - and was in NICU;
· A shareholder resolution filed in Dec: copy of resolution available by request;
· A Walmart leader spoke directly about paid leave at the company’s June shareholder meeting; and
· Research and reports about the company’s unequal parental leave policies.
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