YLD offers a ‘Practical Guide to Parental Leave for Employers’
The Young Lawyers Division is offering law firms yet another tool for nurturing and maintaining talent: “A Practical Guide to Parental Leave for Employers: What to Expect When Your Employee is Expecting.”
“Our hope is that this guide will foster a process that is inclusive to attorneys, seamless for the clients, and is in the best interest of the employer by allowing attorneys to be great lawyers and great parents,” said YLD President Adam White.
The free guide is available here https://flayld.org/inclusion-and-equality/parental-leave-guide/.
YLD Diversity and Inclusion Chair Iris Elijah reminds employers that “understanding the need for policies and practices to support our colleagues with children doesn’t require that I be a parent.”
Diversity and Inclusion Vice Chair Anisha Patel says her legal career wouldn’t be possible without a parental leave policy, or her firm’s flexibility when it came to applying it.
“In short, it made staying and succeeding in the profession a viable option for me and my family,” she writes.
The guide recommends setting aside time to talk with the expectant parent, and creating a “leave letter” to document the basics, such as how long the leave will last, and what level, if any, of communication to expect during the absence.
It includes tips on everything from the reallocation of work and dealing with client contact points, to making accommodations after the leave, such as locked rooms for nursing mothers.
“The most important thing an employer should remember is to have an open and compassionate mind when discussing issues with an attorney,” the guide states. “A successful transition largely depends on support from an employer.”
The guide includes links to the Florida Courthouse Lactation Room Inventory, a sample parental leave policy, articles on drafting parental leave policies and “In Re: Amendments to the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration — Parental Leave, SC18 – 1554.”
The guide urges employers not to forget fathers.
“It was critical for me as a supportive father and supportive husband to a spouse — who happens to be a trial lawyer with serious ambitions and career goals,” said 17th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Harold Pryor. “So it was important that I do my part.”
Or guardians and non-biological parents.
“As an adoptive parent, early bonding time was especially important for me,” says Randall Richardson, from the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel in the First District in Jacksonville. “I was able to feed my daughter and firmly establish a close connection that extends to today. I was so appreciative of parental leave that allowed me to focus on my family.”