Chapin Hall announces new paid parental leave policy  

Comprehensive approach includes surrogacy, adoption, caregiving partners, foster care and kinship placement 

On Jan. 1 Chapin Hall introduced a broad new paid parental leave policy. The organization now offers 12 weeks of paid parental leave to benefits-eligible employees who give birth; the spouses or domestic partners of those who give birth; those who adopt or use surrogacy services; and those who become caregivers as the result of court-ordered placement of a child, including, but not limited to, foster care and kinship placement.  

“Part of Chapin Hall’s commitment to transforming systems includes self-examination,” said Chapin Hall Executive Director Bryan Samuels. “We have invested a lot of time reviewing our own internal policies, including how we can attract and retain employees of color and what kinds of policies promote gender, racial and financial equity as well as healthy families. We know that employees in low-wage or part-time positions — who are often people of color — generally do not have access to paid leave and often do not take unpaid leave because they cannot afford to.”  

The new benefit applies to benefits-eligible employees with at least one year of service prior to the birth, adoption, fostering or kinship placement of a child, with a pro-rated plan for those who have worked at Chapin Hall for under a year before they become a parent or guardian. Part-time staff are eligible for leave up to a 12-week time period and pay will be based on the average full-time equivalent level during the 12 months prior to delivery or leave for all other reasons. 

“The new policy was designed to ensure that staff are able to bond with their new addition without the worry of how they will be compensated,” said Human Resources Benefits Analyst Imani Henry. Staff who are eligible for short-term disability will be paid at 60% and have the option of supplementing 40% of their pay with parental leave (PPL) or paid time off (PTO), she explained. Staff are encouraged to review state and local paid parental leave laws for their geographic area as their state may offer additional benefits as well as the Chapin Hall PPL brochure. Those using parental leave meet with a member of the benefits team to create an individualized timeline. 

“As a policy research center dedicated to evidence-based policymaking, we want to lead by example,” Samuels said. “Many academic studies have highlighted the benefits of paid parental leave, including improved mental health for mothers, fewer infant deaths, higher rates of breastfeeding, and increased long-term achievement for the children.”  

Effective this year, Chapin Hall also updated its bereavement policy to broaden its scope including for those facing stillbirth facing stillbirth and miscarriage; failed adoption match or an adoption that is not finalized because it is contested by another party; or a failed surrogacy agreement.