At a recent roundtable hosted by the U.S. Department of Labor, US Labor Secretary Thomas Perez spoke briefly, applauding national business leaders such as Nestle global CEO Paul Bulcke and executives from companies like Spotify and active sportswear retailer Patagonia Inc. for having paid leave policies in place for their employees.
But while the companies in attendance already have policies in place, Perez said paid leave policy in the U.S. is behind other countries and that America is the only industrialized nation to not have some form of paid leave policy.
The labor secretary announced that the DOL, taking an overdue step in the right direction, will have rules in place by the end of 2016 mandating that federal contractors have paid leave policies in place in order to be awarded government contracts.
Perez recognized recent paid leave action taken in New York and California and said such programs serve multiple benefits for employers. Among them he noted that leave policies have become a major factor for younger workers in their decision-making process. Bulcke also supported this sentiment highlighting its benefits from a business perspective, including greater employee retention, a reduction in recruitment costs, increased employee job satisfaction and greater gender balance in the workplace.
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