Amazon Offers New Paid Family Leave Policy, Joins Ranks of These 5 Other Family Friendly Companies

by Keiko Zoll

Amazon Mom is about to take on a whole new meaning: Amazon announced their new parental leave policy this morning, effective immediately. Birth mothers who have been employed at Amazon for at least a year will have the ability to take up to a combined total of 20 weeks paid family leave: 4 weeks for pre-partum medical leave, 10 weeks paid maternity leave, and an additional 6 weeks of paid parental leave after that. 

Amazon didn’t stop there: the company has also introduced a new “Leave Share” program, allowing employees to share all or part of their 6-week paid parental leave with a spouse or partner whose employer doesn’t offer paid leave. And if that wasn’t enough, Amazon also announced today a new “Ramp Back” program, allowing both birth mothers and primary caregivers the option of coming back to work with a flexible schedule, on a 50 or 75 percent part-time basis. 

After a New York Times article Amazon’s work environment this past summer painted a very negative portrait of the online retailer's employee philosophy and practice, it seems the online retail giant has wised up. There's a growing demand for family friendly policies among American workers — where the United States ranks dead last in paid parental leave.

While Amazon may be the newest company to jump on the parental leave bandwagon, several of their Fortune 500 peers companies have been offering comprehensive paid family leave for years. Here are five other family friendly companies with attractive family leave policies.


For the past 30 years, Working Mother magazine has compiled a list of the 100 best companies for working moms. Only two companies have managed to appear on their list every time, the first being IBM. IBM offers a range of paid family leave and other family friendly benefits, including 6 weeks of maternity leave for new moms and 6 weeks paternity leave for spouses and partners. They also offer an Adoption Assistance Plan, a work-life family resource program, and even assistance for families with special needs children.

Johnson & Johnson

Raysonho; Wikimedia Commons

The only other company to appear on the Working Mother 100 Best Companies list consistently for the past 30 years is the pharmaceutical and consumer health products behemoth. As of May 1, Johnson & Johnson employees are now eligible for up to 17 weeks paid maternity leave and 9 weeks paid paternity leave. The time doesn’t even have to be taken consecutively, and it applies to adoptive parents, too.



In August, Netflix announced probably one of the best paid family leave policies out there: Netflix now offers a year of unlimited paid parental leave. Tack this onto their unlimited vacation policy, and I’m pretty sure I want a job at Netflix now.

Goldman Sachs Group

Ingfbruno/Wikimedia Commons

Say what you will about this multinational investment banking firm beset with controversy, but Goldman Sachs offers some pretty amazing family leave and work-life balance benefits. New and expectant mothers can take advantage of health and wellness courses. Adoptive parents can receive a $5,000 grant towards adoption costs — $6,000 if the child has special needs. Primary caregivers receive 16 paid weeks of parental leave after the birth of a child.

Avon Products

Jiahui Huong; Flickr

As “The Company for Women,” Avon has perhaps one of the most realistic understandings of its workforce, offering an impressive array of benefits for new and expectant families. From adoption aid (up to $10,000) to covering IVF expenses (up to $114,000!), Avon employees can also take advantage of on-site childcare.

Images: Ben MortimerMike Seyfang, Enterprise 2.0 ConferenceShardayyy,  Jiahui Huong/Flickr; RaysonhoIngfbruno/Wikimedia Commons