3M will pay new mom, dad workers 10 weeks of parental leave

"We want our people to know that they can thrive at work and at home," 3M said.

It's the most desirable place to work in the country among millennials, and now 3M is making working conditions even better for its young moms and dads.

The Maplewood-based science giant announced on Thursday that starting Jan. 1, workers who become new birth or adoptive parents will get a total of 20 weeks parental leave – 10 weeks of which will be paid.

What's more, biological mothers will continue to receive 6-8 weeks disability time off, giving them a total of 28 weeks maternity leave.

The move was taken, senior VP of human resources Marlene McGrath said, because "we want our people to know that they can thrive at work and at home."

"Welcoming a child into a family is a special time for a parent," she added. "Our new policy provides parents with more time off for this important life event and contributes to building healthy families and better performance at work. This change is an investment in our people and our company’s success."

3M is Minnesota's third biggest employer, and told GoMN that the new parental leave policy will be available to 15,000 workers in Minnesota, and 33,000 company-wide, though it won't be available to its contract workers who are technically not employees.

The policy goes well beyond federal laws, which entitles new parents to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave following a birth or adoption, provided their company employs more than 50 people.

As well as getting 10 weeks paid leave and 10 weeks unpaid leave, 3M will offer workers an option to work part-time during their leave.

Before the change, 3M offered new mothers 6-8 weeks of short-term disability and 12 weeks of unpaid leave for both mothers and fathers.

How do other companies compare?

3M's parental leave policies are a definite improvement, but it has some way to go to match the leave policies of a few U.S. companies.

Business Insider picked out some of the best parental leave policies in the country, and this is what it found:

Netflix and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – Both offer fully-paid parental leave for a whole year after the birth/adoption of a child.

Etsy – 26 weeks paid leave for workers, regardless of gender, that can be taken any time within two years of birth/adoption.

Adobe – 26 weeks paid maternity leave and 16 weeks paid paternity leave.

Facebook – 17 weeks of paid parental leave.

Google – 18 weeks paid leave for birth mothers, 12 weeks for primary caregivers and seven weeks for other caregivers. This includes stock vesting and benefits as well as pay.

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