Starbucks barista Courtesy of Starbucks

Starbucks expands benefits for new parents

Birth mothers to get leave at full pay after Oct. 1

Starbucks Corp. is expanding benefits for new parents, including paid leave for birth mothers and unpaid leave for fathers, spouses and foster or adoptive parents.

The new policy was announced Wednesday. It includes all non-birth parents, including same-sex spouses, foster, and adoptive parents.

The Seattle-based coffeehouse operator said that effective Oct. 1, store-employee birth mothers would be eligible for six weeks of 100-percent paid leave, compared with the current benefit of 67 percent of average pay and 12 weeks of unpaid leave. To be eligible, employees must work a minimum of 20 hours a week.

In addition, Starbucks will offer store-employee fathers, spouses, foster parents and adoptive parents the option of 12 weeks of unpaid leave, effective on the same date. 

District managers and others considered “non-store employees,” who are birth mothers, will be eligible for up to 18 weeks of 100-percent paid leave, an increase from six weeks at 67 percent pay, which currently eligible birth mothers receive now. Non-store employees who are not birth mothers, such as fathers, spouses or foster or adoptive parents, will be eligible to take 12 weeks of paid leave at 100-percent pay. Those 12 weeks are currently unpaid.

“While we have made substantial investments in our partners, we want to continue to do more,” said Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and chief operating officer, on the company’s benefits website.

“This is one of many steps we are actively taking to evolve our benefits and create a partner experience that lives up to our aspirations,” said Johnson, who will become CEO in April, after Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz steps down from the CEO role.

In July 2016, Starbucks unveiled other investments in employee benefits that took effect last October. 

Starbucks workers and store managers at U.S. company units received a 5-percent pay increase last October. The company also modified its health insurance coverage benefits program to offer employees more options.

As of Oct. 2, 2016, Starbucks had 7,880 company-owned units in the United States.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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