U.S. Military Expands Parental Leave Program
Workspan Daily
January 13, 2023

As reported by CNN, the U.S. military has introduced new rights for military parents, doubling the amount of leave time for service members who give birth and providing leave for new parents who adopt and foster long-term. 

The new policy went into effect Jan. 4, 2023, and will retroactively apply to service members who were on maternity convalescent leave or caregiver leave as of Dec. 27, 2022. It gives 12 weeks of parental leave to service members who give birth, and 12 weeks of leave for the non-birth parent. Previously, only the birthing parent was authorized six weeks of leave. 

The 12 weeks of leave must be used in the first year of the child’s life, the Defense Department said in a news release.  

For the parent who gives birth, the new policy allows 12 weeks of leave following a period of convalescence, which can be authorized by a health care provider and will begin on the first full day after the child’s birth. 

The 12 weeks of leave can be taken all together or in increments and the policy notes that troops may take normal leave “in between increments of parental leave or consecutively with parental leave.”  

Additionally,  parents who are deployed during the one-year leave period can be authorized an extension if they are unable to take their 12 weeks during that first year, and any parents who place their child for adoption or have their parental rights “terminated by consent or court order” are not eligible for the parental leave. 

Nurses’ Strike Ends at Two New York City Hospitals 

More than 7,000 nurses at two New York City hospitals will return to work after reaching tentative contract deals on Jan. 12, three days after going on strike.   

According to the New York Times, the nurses reached agreements with the two hospitals — Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx — to improve patient-to-staffing ratios, according to the New York State Nurses Association, which represents more than 42,000 members. For nurses at Montefiore, the tentative deal would include a 19.1% wage increase over three years, and the creation of more than 170 new nursing positions, the hospital said. The nurses’ last three-year contract expired on Dec. 31, 2022. 

The Times report said the main sticking points in the negotiations at both Montefiore and Mount Sinai had been staffing, as nurses had asked the hospital administrations to attract and hire more nurses and reduce patient-staff ratios to improve working conditions and patient safety. 

Nurses in the intensive care units at both hospitals said they had been routinely asked to care for up to three critically ill patients at a time, even when patients should have received one-on-one care. In packed emergency rooms, nurses described being asked to care for 15 patients at once in overcrowded conditions. 

Nurses will now vote on whether to ratify the contracts by Jan. 20.  

California Companies Start Posting Salary Ranges Under New Pay Law 

Under a new California law that took effect Jan.1, all companies with 15 or more employees advertising jobs based in the state are now required to post an estimate for what the employer “reasonably expects to pay” with the posting. 

According to a Bloomberg report, Netflix and Tesla pay ranges were the widest among about 53,000 job posts from 700 tech companies analyzed by Roger Lee, co-founder of Comprehensive.io, a pay data and analytics site. The average pay range in postings he looked at was $130,000 to $200,000. 

“There are companies that are posting salary ranges that are really wide, that many would consider to not be in good faith or the spirit of the law,” Lee said. “But by and large the vast majority of companies are complying with this pay transparency law in good faith.” 

In its job listing, Tesla said the estimate includes salary, bonus and other compensation and the pay offered may vary depending on market location, job-related knowledge, skills, and experience. Details will be provided if the applicant receives a job offer, the job ad said.  

Netflix has a similar explanation about market, experience and specific job requirements. “This market range is based on total compensation (vs. only base salary), which is in line with our compensation philosophy,” the listing read.  

Disney Employees Ordered Back to the Office Four Days a Week 

Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger has ordered Disney employees to return to the office four days a week — Monday through Thursday — starting March 1, according to an email to staff viewed by the Los Angeles Times

Iger, who returned to the CEO role less than two months ago, explained the change as a way to encourage in-person collaboration in service of creativity at the Burbank-based company.  

The return-to-office plan is just one of the significant changes Iger has brought to the entertainment giant since his return in November, reported the Times, when the company’s board of directors recruited him to replace CEO Bob Chapek, who was dismissed amid the firm’s struggles just months after receiving a contract extension. 

More Layoffs Hit Tech and Finance Companies 

Coinbase is cutting a fifth of its workforce following an 18% staff reduction in June, according to CNBC

The company plans to cut 950 jobs, according to a blog post published Tuesday morning. Coinbase had roughly 4,700 employees as of the end of September 2022. 

“With perfect hindsight, looking back, we should have done more,” CEO Brian Armstrong told CNBC in a phone interview. “The best you can do is react quickly once information becomes available, and that’s what we’re doing in this case.” 

Coinbase said the move would result in new expenses of between $149 million and $163 million for the first quarter. The layoffs, along with other restructuring measures, will bring Coinbase’s operating expenses down by 25% for the quarter ending in March, according to a new regulatory filing. 

In addition, Goldman Sachs announced it would lay off employees as part of a plan that will see the firm shed up to 3,200 jobs, or roughly 6% of its workforce, two people familiar with the changes who were not authorized to discuss them publicly told the New York Times.  

Shares of Goldman Sachs have fallen about 10% over the past year, giving it a market value of $120 billion. It employed 49,100 people at the end of September 2022. 

Coinbase and Goldman Sachs join companies like Salesforce and Amazon, which also announced layoffs at the start of this year.  

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