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03 October 2018 at 08:43 BST

Susman Godfrey offers a 'first' for gender-neutral parenting

Firm seeks innovation in benefits a change of policy to offer unlimited paid, gender-neutral parental leave for associates.


Susman Godfrey is immediately expanding its parental leave policy for associates, offering unlimited paid parental leave to new parents, regardless of gender or caregiver status.

Policy change

During whatever parental leave period an associate chooses to take, his or her hours will be annualized for year-end bonus purposes, for up to 12 weeks for any associate and up to 18 weeks for delivering mothers. The firm’s previous policy offered four weeks parental leave and 16 weeks for delivering mothers. This policy change follows the firm’s announcement in 2015 of an unlimited paid vacation policy for associates. Houston partner Erica Harris claims, ‘our new parental leave policy is one of the most generous in the nation, and continues our firm’s reputation for being a market leader in compensation and benefits.’ A World Economic Forum study on the global gender gap index suggests that when men and women both take time off to care for their newborns, it ‘can increase women’s participation in the workforce.’

Inclusive workplace

Amanda Bonn, a partner in the firm’s Los Angeles office, said ‘the firm’s expanded and gender-neutral parental leave policy is part of our ongoing effort to foster an equitable and inclusive workplace, one that recognizes the importance of parental bonding time to all attorneys, regardless of gender or caregiver status.’ However, the new policy does not apply to staff.  It will now be up to other law firms to see if they follow suit, especially big law where there is a larger number of associates at firms.


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