Parental Leave Policy Announced

Sep 10, 2019 | Health Care, News

As one of Idaho’s fastest growing law firms, we’re pleased to announce one of the most family-friendly parental leave policies in the region. Starting October 15, Smith + Malek will offer all full-time staff—not just attorneys—12 weeks of 100% paid parental leave.

By comparison, last year Idaho-based Chobani, which employs more than 2,000 people, made national headlines for offering employees six weeks of 100% paid parental leave. The United States is the only industrialized country in the world that doesn’t offer some paid maternity leave.

“We’re dedicated to making tomorrow better for our staff, clients, and the communities in which we work,” said founding attorney Peter J. Smith, a father of three children under 14. “We want our staff to be able to do great work, while also being great parents and spouses. This policy is not only the right thing to do, but it will make us more competitive in recruiting and retaining top talent.”

According to 2019 data from the National Partnership for Women & Families, 71% of Idahoans cannot access even unpaid parental leave under the Family & Medical Leave Act, which covers government employees and those working at companies with 50 or more employees. Sixty-one percent of Idaho families rely on two working parents, and 51% of Latinas and 46% of white women in Idaho are the primary breadwinners for their families.

To qualify, a staff member must be employed by the firm for one year and work at least 1,250 hours over the previous year. The policy covers the birth of an employee’s child or the placement of a child with an employee in connection with adoption or foster care.

Coeur d’Alene attorney Caitlin O’Brien will be the first employee impacted by the policy. She’s due with her second child in December.

“The culture of Smith + Malek is a major reason I chose to build my practice here,” O’Brien said. “This new policy not only is the right thing to do for working parents, but also demonstrates the firm’s commitment to teamwork, flexibility, and the support of families.”

Smith + Malek also offers flexible and remote work policies, and allows staff to bring their babies or children to work as needed.

Learn more about the policy during an open house on Wednesday, Sept. 11, from 5 – 6:30 p.m. at our Downtown Boise U.S. Bank building office, located on the 9th floor. Owners of small and mid-sized businesses, as well as members of the media, can discover how to implement paid parental leave and other family-friendly policies.