JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Some Publix employees will soon be able to get paid time off to welcome a new child.
Now, according to its website, Publix employs more than 225,000 people and it is one of the 10 largest-volume supermarket chains in the country with sales last year reaching $44.9 billion.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, the supermarket company that’s headquartered in Florida, said it will offer paid parental leave for eligible full-and part-time workers within the first year after the birth or adoption of a child.
“Publix is committed to being a great place to work, and we frequently review our benefits to continually offer a comprehensive package to our associates,” Media Relations Manager Nicole Krauss said in a statement.
According to a Publix spokesperson, full-time employees are eligible for paid parental leave after working for the company for at least one year. The amount of paid time off is determined by the worker’s years of service, whether they are hourly or salaried at the time of the birth or adoption.
After five years of employment, part-time employees would qualify for up to 4 weeks off, and full-time employees would qualify for up to six weeks off.
Part-time associates can also take advantage of parental leave after reaching a year of employment and at least a weekly average of 24.04 hours in the 52 weeks leading up to the birth or adoption. Their paid parental leave will be based also on their years of service, as well as average hours in the 52 weeks leading up to the birth or adoption date.
“If an associate moves from part time to full time in the year leading up to the birth or adoption, they’re still required to meet the eligibility for part-time associates,” Krauss stated.
Hourly, part-time employees can receive up to four weeks off if they have been employed for more than five years, and hourly, full-time employees can receive up to six weeks off if they have also been employed more than five years.
“I think it’s needed,” Latara Logan, a loyal Publix shopper who always brings her 7-year-old daughter along for shopping trips, said.
She told Action News Jax reporter Jessica Barreto that she remembers the one month after her kids were born as precious time.
“Being a new mom, you want to spend more time with your kids,” Logan said. “With all of my kids, after a month back, I went right back to work.”
That’s why she values vacation time. She’s on her way to South Carolina to spend the New Year’s Day holiday with her kids and thinks employees shouldn’t be forced to tap into that or sick time for parental leave.
“It takes away from time that they do need, that sick time, because it happens. You can’t schedule when you’re gonna be sick and when you need that time off,” Logan said.
Paid Leave for the United States (PL+US), a nonprofit which has launched a national campaign to win paid family and medical leave by 2022, provided Action News Jax with a statement regarding Publix’s new paid parental leave policy. In 2019, PL+US ranked Publix as having the worst paid family leave compared to other companies.
“While this is a step in the right direction, two weeks of paid parental leave falls far short of what families actually need. It makes no sense for Publix to give different amounts of leave to different groups of employees -- the babies of hourly workers need their parents just as much as the babies of salaried workers. It shouldn’t be an elite benefit to be able to heal from childbirth or care for your newborn. The inequality in this policy only makes it more clear why we need Congress to act now and pass national paid leave for all, so that everyone can be there for their families in the moments that matter most” Orli Cortel, senior advisor of PL+US, said.
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