3M's parental leave policy grows

3M headquarters in Maplewood
The headquarters of 3M Co., is shown Thursday, April 23, 2009, in Maplewood, Minn.
Jim Mone | AP 2009

As the nation's labor market tightens, 3M is offering U.S. employees more paid time off after the birth or adoption of a child. Under the revamped policy, birth mothers could get disability pay for up to 8 weeks, followed by ten weeks paid parental leave.

Fathers may opt for ten weeks paid time off under the policy, which also applies to adoptive parents. In addition, parents can take ten more weeks with no pay.

All this means that a birth mother could take more than a half a year off, said Mike Anderson, director of HR, global benefits, at 3M.

"Six to 8 weeks would typically be at full pay and then they can get 10 more weeks of pay," he said.

Anderson says the parental leave benefit will help attract and retain employees.

"We didn't look at it as a cost," he said. "We listened to our employees. We're looking at attracting and retaining talent. For us, it's about creating a more engaged workforce."

Previously, the company offered birth mothers 6 to 8 weeks of partial pay under disability leave. Mothers and fathers could also take 12 weeks of unpaid time off.

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