DRM Adopts Paid Parental Leave Policy

New parents to receive up to 12 weeks of paid leave.

(Burlington, Vt.)  The northern New England law firm Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC has adopted a new policy that awards up to 12 weeks of paid leave to new parents. The policy was approved by directors in March and announced by Deputy Managing Partner Peter B. Kunin in April.

“A paid family leave policy is the right thing to do for our employees and their young children, and makes sense for our business,” Kunin explained. “It is well known that a parent’s ability to personally care for their children, especially newborns, is critical to the healthy development of children and families. Parents should not have to choose between spending time with their new baby and economic security. And by giving our employees time to settle in to life as a new family, our employees are better able to focus on the needs of our clients with the level of intensity that the job demands.”

The new DRM policy, when combined with its short term disability program, provides up to 12 weeks of  paid leave to mothers of newborn children and up to six weeks of leave to fathers and partners of birth mothers, as well as to the parents of adopted children aged 16 and younger.

“Our primary asset here at the firm is our people. We want to hire and retain the best and most dedicated attorneys and staff,” Kunin added. “This paid parental leave policy says to all of our employees that we want to invest in you. We want you to settle in and develop your professional life in a way that does not compromise your family life. That security and satisfaction, we think, will also provide enormous benefits to our clients and to the long run sustainability of our firm.”

To qualify for the benefit new parents must be employed for at least 12 consecutive prior months, either part-time or full-time. Combining several benefits, pay will be provided at up to 100 percent of the employee’s regular, straight-time weekly pay. Part-time employees will be paid on a pro-rated basis. Other employee benefits will continue unchanged.

“DRM strives to compensate all of our people at or above the norm for law firms of our size in our region,” Kunin added. “We believe the suite of benefits we provide is among the best in our industry.”

The firm matches 50 percent of every employee’s contributions to his or her 401(k) individual retirement savings plan. In addition, the firm contributes 10 percent of every employee’s annual compensation to a profit sharing plan. The firm provides dental, life and disability insurance, subsidized medical insurance and medical savings accounts, wellness benefits and assistance with personal financial planning. Health insurance plans may be tailored to individual employee and family needs. A confidential employee assistance program can assist all employees with personal challenges that are not covered under traditional benefit programs.