The 29 Companies With the Best Maternity Benefits

By Elizabeth Lang on 18 September 2014 2 comments

What does the United States have in common with Swaziland and Papua New Guinea? We are one of only three countries in the world that does not mandate paid maternity leave. That's right, 178 other countries require paid leave for mothers who have just given birth.

This map shows paid leave around the world if you're looking to move.

But if you're planning to stay in the United States you're probably thinking: What about FMLA? The Family Medical Leave Act only provides unpaid leave, not paid leave. Moreover, if you haven't been at your job for a year, if you work fewer than 24 hours a week, or if your company has fewer than 50 employees, you aren't covered by FMLA. This means that under federal law, you may not even be entitled to take any unpaid time.

So, if you're a woman thinking of having children in the foreseeable future, you should give strong weight to an employer's maternity leave benefits when considering jobs as it can mean tens of thousands of dollars in extra income and extra time off with your little one.

Here are the jobs with the best maternity benefits — listed according to rankings by Working Mother Magazine and also by industry.

Working Mother Top 10

Working Mother gives weight to more than just the number of weeks of paid maternity leave in putting together its "Working Mother 100 Best Companies" list. Other maternity benefits can include baby "stipends" and childcare. This year's top ten were the following companies (in alphabetical order).

1. Abbott

Abbott gives new moms four weeks of paid maternity leave, but one of the biggest benefits is a flex schedule — which 97% take advantage of.

2. Deloitte

Deloitte offers fully paid maternity leave for 14 weeks. Plus, the company covers up to $25,000 for fertility treatments and $5,000 in adoption costs.

3. EY

EY (Formerly Ernst & Young) offers 14 weeks of fully paid maternity leave (22 weeks in total). Plus, women can come back with a reduced schedule after maternity leave.

4. General Mills

General Mills gives new mothers six weeks fully paid leave plus offers other benefits like sabbaticals, flex-time, and plenty of amenities (like a salon, cafeteria, day care, and gym).

5. IBM

IBM gives its employees six weeks of fully paid maternity leave.

6. KPMG

KPMG's maternity leave policy includes an average of nine weeks of fully paid leave plus sabbaticals.

7. Procter & Gamble

At Procter & Gamble new moms get eight weeks of paid leave.

8. Prudential Financial

Prudential only offers five weeks of fully paid maternity leave, but new moms can take up to 26 weeks of leave (nine of those are partially or fully paid).

9. PwC

PwC gives new moms 15 weeks of fully paid maternity leave, and 80% of employees at PwC use a flextime schedule.

10. WellStar Health System

WellStar's three weeks of paid maternity leave doesn't compare to the others on the list, but Working Mother was a big fan of the company's other benefits like fitness centers, walking clubs, wellness coaches, and on-site fruit and vegetable deliveries.

Other than the Working Mother top 10 list, what other companies have the best maturity policies? Generally they fall into several categories: jobs in the technology industry, jobs in the financial sector, and legal jobs. Here are the best companies by industry (other than the companies listed above).

Technology Industry

The technology sector is well known for its glamorous benefits like flexible work schedules and free food, but it's also known for generous maternity leave policies. Here are the number of paid weeks off at the following technology companies all according to reporting done by Mother Jones in 2013:

11. Google

Google provides new mothers a whopping 18 weeks of paid maternity leave (22 if there are complications with the birth).

12. Instagram

Instagram gives new moms 17 weeks paid leave.

13. Reddit

Reddit also pays maternity leave for 17 weeks.

14. Facebook

Like Instagram and Reddit, Facebook moms get 17 weeks of maternity leave.

15. Yahoo

Yahoo's maternity leave policy provides for 16 weeks of paid leave.

16. Twitter

Twitter's policy is for 13 weeks of maternity leave.

17. Pinterest

Pinterest provides 12 weeks of paid maternity leave.

18. Microsoft

Microsoft also gives new moms 12 weeks of paid leave.

Financial Sector

Companies in the financial industry aren't quite as generous as those in the tech world, but many banks, investment companies, and others in financial services offer a lot of paid leave. Here are the number of paid weeks off at the following financial companies (from the Working Mother list).

19. Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank gives new moms 18 weeks paid leave.

20. Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs offers new mothers 16 weeks paid leave.

21. Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley provides 16 weeks of maternity leave.

22. FINRA

FINRA's maternity leave policy is for 13 weeks.

23. JP Morgan Chase

JP Morgan Chase provides 12 weeks of paid maternity leave.

24. Bank of America

Bank of America offers new mothers 12 weeks paid leave.

25. Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse's maternity leave policy is also for 12 weeks paid leave.

Law Firms

While large law firms are best known for requiring long billable hours, most firms are actually quite generous with their paid maternity leave. Many offer 12 weeks paid maternity leave for their female attorneys. Here are the number of paid weeks off at some of the larger law firms which were included in Working Mother's top 100 list. (Another good place for details of all benefits — including maternity leave — is on the NALP Directory which is reported by law firms to help with recruiting.)

26. Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter tops the list of law firms with 18 weeks of paid maternity leave.

27. Cooley

Cooley offers 13 weeks of paid maternity leave.

28. Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner

Finnegan also provides 13 weeks of paid maternity leave.

29. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Pillsbury's maternity leave policy provides for 12 weeks of paid leave.

While over half of new mothers in the US don't get any paid leave, if you're fortunate enough to find a position at one of the above companies, you'll be better off financially and likely much healthier and happier for having additional time with your little one.

How much paid maternity leave does your company offer?

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Bank of America offers 12 weeks paid paternity, up to $240/month daycare reimbursement and up to $5k in adoption assistance. It's a pretty awesome company to work for as a working parent.

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Prudential pays 2 weeks fully paid of maternity, not 5 as is listed above...unless I have wrong information as a Prudential employee...

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Six months into my pregnancy (with my first child) my company was acquired by EY. Initially I was super excited... however quickly became very saddened by the way the company treats new moms. When my offer letter was presented to me I was told that I would not be eligible for EYs maternity leave due to the fact although they had acquired a company that I had been employed at for five years, I hadn't been an EY employee yet for 12 months. Disappointing but I could live with it. Over the next month I repeatedly asked HR about the FMLA qualification which is also based on 12 months of employment, Short Term disability eligibility or loss of, lost PTO etc. I basically wanted to know if I was getting 6 weeks unpaid or 3 months unpaid. I was told each time that I could not engage with EYs maternity team until the deal closed. Time was ticking on and the stress of not knowing during my pregnancy was just so saddening - I knew I had to leave the company for my own health let alone my baby's health. I quickly found a new job at a company that went out of their way to treat me like one of their own and while I disqualified from both FMLA and short term disability I knew I could never trust neither Society not EY. When I gave my two weeks notice I was told that I could buy vacation days. I worked on a team with 23 men and three women including myself... Not surprising that this was their response.

Fast forward three weeks after leaving the company, a dozen emails later and I am sitting pregnant and without health insurance. Neither company will give me access to Cobra that I've repeatedly asked for. Cobra told me I'm not in their system. I'm paying out of pocket for my ultrasounds and praying that nothing happens to me. Only one week to go until my new coverage kicks in. Unfortunately health insurance companies won't provide short term coverage to pregnant women. Every day I wake up thankful that I didn't end up in the ER the day before.

Shame on them. My client found out what happened and pulled her contract too.