SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Discovery Communications proudly announced today a new paid leave policy for U.S. employees, featuring a significant expansion of the company's current parental leave benefits as well as a new caregiver leave offering. The new policy makes Discovery's U.S. benefits package its most flexible and robust to date, and continues the company's commitment to expand its benefits program to meet the unique and individual needs of its diverse workforce.
The new policy extends Discovery's parental leave benefit to a full 12 weeks of paid leave, and will now offer those same 12 weeks as part of a caregiver leave benefit designed to support families in the case of serious health conditions. Under the new policy and with the addition of short-term disability and up to two weeks of vacation time, maternity leave will now max at 20 to 22 weeks, depending on delivery. With the option to add up to two weeks of vacation for all parental leave, paternity, adoption, and foster care placement, leave will max at 14 consecutive weeks. The new policy places Discovery among a small number of companies choosing to enhance paid family leave in the U.S., where the absence of national regulation has made America the only industrialized nation in the world without requirements for the benefit. Effective January 1, 2017, highlights of the new policy include:
For Parents: Extending Leave for Mothers & Fathers in the case of Birth, Adoption or Foster Care Placement
- A new and significantly more robust paid parental leave benefit, extending what is currently a four-week offering to a full 12 weeks of paid leave in all cases of child birth, adoption, and foster care placement.
- Enhanced 12-week parental leave paid at 100% in addition to short-term disability (where applicable) and up to two weeks of vacation (where available).
- Maternity leave now maxing at 20 to 22 consecutive weeks, depending on delivery.
- Paternity, domestic partner, adoption and foster care placement leave now maxing at 14 consecutive weeks.
For Caregivers: Extending Leave & Expanding the Family Definition to Care for those in Need
- Introducing a new 12-week paid caregiver leave benefit, designed to support employees taking care of a qualified family member in need - whether aging, ill, or otherwise impacted by a serious health condition.
- Paid at 100% and created to assist all of today's growing, evolving, and unique family structures, the caregiver leave benefit will extend the definition of family beyond children, spouses, and parents to also include care for qualified domestic partners, siblings, parent-in-laws, and grandparents.
- Caregiver leave also will extend to military caregivers caring for seriously injured or ill veterans as defined under the Family Medical Leave Act.
- With the option to add up to two weeks of vacation time, caregiver leave will max at 14 consecutive weeks.
As part of the company's new policy, these 12 weeks - covering both parental and caregiver leave - can now be taken consecutively or divided as needed over the course of a 12-month period.
"These paid family leave benefits further our commitment to support employees both at work and at home, where we want to ensure they have the flexibility to spend the time they need - and deserve - with their families during important periods of transition," said Adria Alpert Romm, Chief Human Resources and Global Diversity Officer, Discovery Communications. "This new policy marks a proud moment for Discovery and is something we hope will retain and attract great talent for many years to come. Ultimately, it's about family. We are here for our Discovery family, so they can be there for theirs."
Part of Discovery Communications' U.S. employee benefits program, these enhanced family leave offerings will be available to the company's more than 3,000 U.S.-based employees beginning in 2017. These new benefits come in addition to a number of family-focused benefits already available to U.S. employees including, among others, an adoption and surrogacy assistance program, offering up to $10,000 reimbursement for adoption- and surrogacy-related expenses; an on-site childcare facility at the corporate headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.; and onsite wellness centers open free of charge to employees and their dependents across a number of U.S. offices. Discovery's international employees also have access to robust benefits programs, where policies and offerings vary from country to country based on local laws and regulations.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) satisfies curiosity and engages superfans with a portfolio of premium nonfiction, sports and kids programming brands. Reaching 3 billion cumulative viewers across pay-TV and free-to-air platforms in more than 220 countries and territories, Discovery's portfolio includes the global brands Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports content across Europe. Discovery reaches audiences across screens through digital-first programming from Discovery VR, Seeker and SourceFed Studios, as well as over-the-top and TV Everywhere offerings including Eurosport Player, Dplay, Discovery K!ds Play and Discovery GO. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.
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SOURCE Discovery Communications