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Sweetgreen aims to change restaurant industry with paid leave

No matter who you work for, you want to know that your employer realizes that your family and health come first. In most cases, employers feel the same way you do, wanting to make sure you're healthy and that your family is well.

That's why some employers are changing the benefits they offer. One such employer in California is Sweetgreen. On May 23, the company announced changes to its parental leave policy, expanding it to mothers and fathers of their own biological children as well as those who have become foster or adoptive parents. The parents receive five months of fully paid leave after placement or the birth of their child.

The health-food chain believes this is a fair benefit to provide to parents, especially seeing as the United States doesn't guarantee leave in most positions. Doing this, the company hopes to be a leader and to set new standards in the restaurant industry.

This company isn't alone. Many are changing their policies to allow more time off. This differs from the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protections most Americans have, though, since their paychecks are guaranteed by Sweetgreen. Through the FMLA, there is no guaranteed continued pay, though the job position should remain open for the parents to return in the future.

Between 2016 and 2018, the number of employers providing paid parental leave has gone up from 17% to 27%. In either case, if you are bringing a new life into your family, you can seek paid leave from an employer who offers it or use the FMLA protections if they apply to you.

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