General Mills expands paid maternity leave to 20 weeks, 12 weeks for partners

MINNEAPOLIS — The brand behind of Cheerios, Yoplait and numerous other high-profile food products are taking a progressive stance when it comes to treatment and time off for new parents.

General Mills announced this week that new mothers will be able to take between 18 to 20 weeks of maternity leave with full pay.

Additionally, new fathers or partners will be eligible for 12 weeks leave, also with full pay.

A statement from General Mills said the company made the move following discussions with employees about what was most important to them.

“We spent a lot of time talking with employees at different life stages and asking questions about their pain points and what contributes to feeling torn between work and home,” said Jacqueline Williams-Roll, chief human resources officer.

Employees needing to take time away from work to care for an immediate family member with a health condition are eligible to take two weeks of paid leave; those mourning the death of an immediate family member will be able to take four weeks paid leave.

“General Mills has been making food people love for over 150 years, and our employees have always been our secret ingredient. We want to keep innovating in how we meet their evolving needs,” said Williams-Roll.

Prior to these changes, a report from the Star Tribune said new moms working at General Mills were able to take six weeks leave and new dads, adoptive parents or partners were only given two weeks paid leave.

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