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In an effort to inform and inspire our members and friends, we often share diversity and flexibility Bright Spots – those small or large successes that impact an organization in a positive way. We believe that important diversity and flexibility initiatives can truly impact your organization’s bottom line, recruitment and retention capabilities and employee satisfaction. 

BRIGHT SPOT

Ogletree Deakins’ gender-neutral Family Leave policy is an impressive Bright Spot.   Comprehensively developed, this policy provides a wide range of support mechanisms for attorneys during and following their family leave.

Ogletree’s family leave initiative includes the following benefits:

  • A gender-neutral Paid Parental Leave (PPL) benefit of up to 16 weeks salary is provided to any attorney on an approved leave after the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child.
  • To further help ease an attorney’s transition back to work after the leave, the firm provides an additional on-ramping program which allows for reduced billable hours for a limited period of time. Attorneys are not required to formally request on-ramping and the program does not affect compensation.
  • Attorneys who are parents also have access to an on-demand back-up childcare service in the event of last minute childcare needs. (This service is also available for the care of an aging parent or other adult dependents.)
  • A “Milk Stork” program supports nursing mothers by coordinating the shipment of milk when the mother is traveling on firm business.
  • A business resource group, ODFamily, serves as a resource to assist parents transitioning back to work.
  • Each new parent has access to an e-course that helps new parents prepare for the transition back to work and offers web community support for questions and resources. New parents are also given a copy of Mindful Return: Back to Work After Baby.

IMPACT

By offering such an inclusive family leave benefit, Ogletree hopes to not only promote and advance women, but to also show its commitment to all new parents, and significantly influence the retention of all of its valuable employees at a critical point in their family life and career.

Please share your Diversity & Flexibility Bright Spots with us by downloading and completing THIS SHORT FORM and emailing it to Jane Caldeira at jane@dfalliance.com

In an effort to inform and inspire our members and friends, we often share diversity and flexibility Bright Spots – those small or large successes that impact an organization in a positive way. We believe that important diversity and flexibility initiatives can truly impact your organization’s bottom line, recruitment and retention capabilities and employee satisfaction. 

Dickinson Wright’s Staff Parental Leave Policy

BRIGHT SPOT

Detroit-based law firm, Dickinson Wright has implemented a paid parental leave policy for its staff. The new policy, implemented January 1, 2020, allows staff to take up to 12 weeks of full-paid leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child. The policy is gender neutral and outlines new processes for off-ramping and on-ramping employees.

The Office Administrator and supervisors provide staff members with off-ramping support such as alternative schedule options, re-allocation of work and remote work opportunities. When the staff member returns from parental leave, the firm provides on-ramping benefits including a gradual return schedule, workload planning support, guidance on dealing with any implicit bias, and options for alternative schedules. The Office Administrator continues to check in with employees following a leave for up to one year to make sure that there are no concerns.

The firm has also designated a Parental Leave Coordinator who helps to manage communications between the employee, his or her supervisors, the Office Administrator, the Director of Human Resources and the firm’s Staff Parental Leave Sub-Committee of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.  The firm also offers a complimentary Employee Assistance Plan for additional resources before, during and after parental leave.

The new staff paid parental leave policy was a core initiative for the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee for 2019 and reflects the firm’s desire to continuously improve the work environment for all employees. The firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee led the effort in conjunction with firm management and the Staff Parental Leave Sub-Committee (comprised of both lawyers and non-lawyer staff members).

IMPACT

The response from Dickinson Wright employees has been very positive and the firm has seen an uptick in morale from both attorneys and staff. Recognizing that its non-attorney policy was outdated and did not reflect the current dynamics of working families, the firm demonstrated that it values its staff and believes in supporting all employees.  Further, the firm is showing its commitment to retaining and recruiting highly talented staff members. This initiative has strengthened the culture of inclusivity at the firm and will be seen as an asset when recruiting prospective employees.

 

Please share your Diversity & Flexibility Bright Spots with us by downloading and completing THIS SHORT FORM and emailing it to Jane Caldeira at jane@dfalliance.com