Working at a tech startup can be rife with irony. IT problems in a new office. The occasional off-topic scrum. Working on cutting edge technology while receiving some of the most archaic parental leave benefits on the planet.
This week, Austin-based CSID took a stand on the issue. The company, which offers a software-driven fraud protection service, now offers moms and dads 12 weeks of time off, paid at 100 percent of their usual compensation.
Here’s the kicker: They can distribute the leave over a six-month time period, since babies are still tough after the first three months.
“We’re glad that technology industry behemoths like Facebook have brought parental leave to the forefront of the benefits conversation and more in line with the modern family," President and Cofounder Joe Ross said in a statement. "We want to demonstrate that mid-size companies are also capable of offering these types of policies for their employees. We believe we are one of only two companies in Austin offering parental leave at this level.”
Talk about keeping it weird. The company isn’t legally required to pay those moms anything, and many dads can’t count on paternity leave at all.
According to a 2014 study of 185 countries and territories by the International Labour Organization, the United States is the only developed economy to not pay maternity benefits.
The Family and Medical Leave Act requires companies with more than 50 employees to provide 12 weeks of job-protected leave for family and medical reasons, but there’s no requirement to pay employees during this period.
And not having 50 employees is a big part of being a startup.
That leaves us tech startup workers in a funny position. We want to be progressive and have great culture, but we have more work to do than people available to do it.
Work from home is usually the compromise, though anyone who’s tried working with a kid squirming on them knows that isn’t much of a compromise.
“Research has continued to show the benefits of paid parental leave – including the psychological well-being of new parents and also the probability they will return to work,” said Senior Director of Human Resources at CSID, David Darrow. “We’re excited to roll out a policy that we strongly believe will be mutually beneficial for our employees and the company.”
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