After thousands of Netflix customers and employees joined this effort, Netflix has announced that it’s expanding its paid parental leave for hourly employees. Employees in the streaming (16 weeks), DVD (12 weeks), and customer service (14 weeks) will now all be getting fully paid parental leave where previously, none of the leave provided was fully paid. Additionally, the new policy will cover paternity leave and adoptions whereas previously only maternity leave was provided. This expanded leave time will make a big difference in the lives of hundreds of Netflix workers and their families. One customer service employee who joined this Coworker.org petition said she’s “ecstatic” about the news. Thank you to everyone who supported this effort!
Our work isn’t finished. The new policy does not meet the full demands of this petition, so let’s keep the pressure on Netflix to continue to improve its leave policies. There is no need for a two-tiered leave policy for hourly and salaried workers. Everyone should be able to take time away from work to care for a newborn or loved one.
Netflix just announced a new paid parental leave policy for its employees giving new parents access to unlimited leave during the first year of a child’s birth or adoption. But the employees who work in Netflix’s DVD division are being left out. Join me in asking Netflix to extend its new paid parental leave policy to ALL Netflix employees!
Why is this important?
As a huge fan of Netflix and a fairly new mom, I was so excited to hear Netflix announce a groundbreaking new parental leave policy for its employees: “an unlimited leave policy for new moms and dads that allows them to take off as much time as they want during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption.” But I’m disappointed to learn that not all Netflix employees will get this crucial benefit.
The U.S. is the only industrialized nation that doesn’t mandate paid parental leave and the Department of Labor estimates that only 12% of U.S. private sector workers get paid family leave through their employer. That’s why it is such a big deal that companies like Netflix are taking the lead to ensure their employees have the time that is required to bond with their new children.
But shortly after the fanfare about Netflix’s new policy, the company confirmed to The Huffington Post that hundreds of workers in the company’s DVD division aren’t eligible for the company’s new parental leave policy. Sure, the DVD service might be less popular these days, but it still brings in hundreds of millions of dollars for Netflix and is even MORE profitable than the company’s streaming services.
More importantly, it’s wrong for Netflix to create two classes of employees. Already, there’s a divide between higher income earners (especially in the tech industry) and low wage workers in terms of access to important benefits like parental leave. Netflix shouldn’t be contributing to this inequality within its own company. The warehouse workers who handle the returning, sorting and shipping of DVDs deserve to benefit from the same “freedom and responsibility” culture Netflix says it works to create.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/