Are you an employee who wants to start a conversation with your employer about becoming more family friendly? Below are steps for how to get started.
Know your rights.
A first step is to understand federal and state laws that apply to pregnant workers or workers with caregiving responsibilities. See below for an overview, or visit the following websites to learn more. For legal questions specific to your circumstances, consult legal counsel and/or your HR representative.
Make sure you understand your current benefits.
Review your current benefits with your HR representative or manager to make sure you understand everything your employer currently offers and how the details of each policy affect you. Some paid parental leave policies, for example, require employees to use vacation or sick time for a pre-determined period before the parental leave benefit kicks in.
- Ask for help to clarify policies that are unclear.
- Determine when you are eligible for policies. For instance, many employers require one year of employment before you are eligible for paid parental leave.
- Explore the financial benefits your employer offers, such as a Flexible Spending Account, which allows you to save money pre-taxes to spend on health care and other costs.
Talk with your manager or HR representative.
Approach a HR representative, manager or a company leader that you think would be supportive. Have a conversation with him or her about the policy changes you think could benefit both employees and your employer.
Build a business case of support.
If you want to encourage change or new policies within your own workplace, come prepared with data and support for why the policies you suggest will benefit your employer as well as you and your co-workers.