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Publix Super Markets has announced that it will begin offering paid parental leave to both full-time and part-time employees, allowing them to take off at least two weeks during the first year after a child's birth or adoption, with the worker paid based on average weekly hours, as well as length of service whether they are paid hourly or on salary.

According to the Florida Politics website, "The maximum pay period in Publix’s new benefit covers half of the unpaid time off guaranteed under federal law.

"Compared to the maximum, six-week benefit Publix offers, the Family and Medical Leave Act stipulates new parents are entitled to take up to 12 workweeks of leave within a 12-month period, but does not require employers to compensate for the time off. Paid leave for new parents is the norm in 120 other countries, however, with an average of 18 weeks of paid leave among member nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, based in Paris."

The Associated Press writes that "the new benefits come as retailers across the U.S. are facing a worker shortage, and some are offering new benefits to attract or retain workers."

KC's View:

Let's be clear.  If retailers are going to be employers-of-choice, they're going to have to define and implement programs that both distinguish them from others and that represent a real investment in their workers.  And the good news, it seems to me, is that when the pendulum swings the other way, it will be virtually impossible for companies that make these changes to reverse course.