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WORKSPAN
WORKSPAN DAILY |

Levi’s To Begin Offering Eight Weeks of Paid Family Leave


Levi Strauss & Co. will begin offering up to eight weeks of paid family leave to its corporate employees and retail staff who work at least 30 hours a week.

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CEO Chip Bergh announced the news in an interview with Fortune on Thursday. The company began providing eight weeks of leave for corporate and retail new parents in 2016. This new paid family leave policy, which is effective immediately, allows workers paid time off to care for a family member with a serious illness.

“When employers send strong messages that they truly care about their people, everybody wins,” said Scott Cawood, president and CEO of WorldatWork. “Offering eight weeks family leave to Levi Strauss employees definitely sends that message. I imagine their founder, Mr. Levi Strauss, would be proud. After all, he awarded scholarships in 1898 and made sure half of them went to women.”  

Employees can take the leave in chunks that are at minimum two weeks to care for an ill spouse, domestic partner, parent or stepparent, or 18-and-under child or stepchild.

This is an industry-leading benefit for retail, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families.

“Folks who are employed in retail are unlikely to have basic benefits, let alone paid family and medical leave,” National Partnership for Women and Families president Debra Ness told Fortune. “The retail industry tends to lag behind other industries.”

Bergh said the company was inspired to introduce the benefit after hearing from middle-aged employees who are caring for both young children and aging parents.

“I fundamentally believe that if people feel that the company is aligned with their needs and values, it will drive employee engagement, employee loyalty and productivity,” Bergh told Fortune. “Can I prove it in an A/B test? I don’t know, but I believe in my heart this is a differentiator.”

This type of benefit remains relatively uncommon. According to WorldatWork’s “2019 Inventory of Total Rewards Programs and Practices” survey, 20% of organizations offer paid caregiver leave. The survey found it is more common (40%) at larger companies — those with more than 40,000 employees — which Levi’s would fall under. Going by industry, paid caregiver leave is offered more in finance and insurance (25%), with the utilities, oil and gas (22%) and health care (20%) industries close behind.

Read more: “Envisioning Paid Parental Leave”

About the Author

Brett Christie Bio Image

Brett Christie is the managing editor of Workspan Daily. 


About WorldatWork

WorldatWork is a professional nonprofit association that sets the agenda and standard of excellence in the field of Total Rewards. Our membership, signature certifications, data, content, and conferences are designed to advance our members’ leadership, and to help them influence great outcomes for their own organizations.

About Membership

Membership provides access to practical resources, research, emerging trends, a professional network, and career-building education and certification. Learn more and join today.