Chobani, the Greek-yogurt maker with a Twin Falls factory that employs about 1,000 full-time workers, says it will offer six weeks of fully paid parental leave starting in 2017 for full-time hourly and salaried employees.
The leave extends to mothers and fathers for the birth, adoption or placement of a foster child into the home.
“As a founder and a new father, my son opened my eyes to the fact that the vast majority of workers in this country don’t have access to paid family leave when they have a new child,” Hamdi Ulukaya, founder, chairman and CEO of Chobani, said in a statement and in a similar letter to U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez. “That’s especially true when it comes to manufacturing, and that needs to change in this country, and Chobani needed to be part of that change.”
The U.S. is one of three countries in the world with no paid maternity leave laws, the company said. Eighty-seven percent of private sector U.S. workers lack access to paid parental leave policies, and nine-tenths of private sector workers in manufacturing lack paid parental leave.
Last spring, Ulukaya announced that Chobani would grant ownership stakes worth about 10 percent of the company, based on time worked — enough to make some of them millionaires.