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Starbucks: Extend the new paid parental leave policy to ALL new parents


Photo of Kristen as a new mom.

My name is Kristen and I am barista at a Starbucks in Medina, OH. Next week I am traveling to Seattle with my 3month old baby so I can attend the Starbucks annual shareholder meeting.

Working at Starbucks is hard work, but it’s fulfilling, and I love my coworkers and my regular customers. That’s why it’s surprising, even to me, that I’m speaking out about a company policy that just isn’t right. My employer is known for being a great company to work for -- but the truth of the matter is Starbucks' parental leave policy leaves out baristas, dads and adoptive parents.

Last year when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby, I was thrilled and excited and worried and nervous all at the same time. It wasn’t until I was actually in labor at the hospital that I found out I wouldn’t get paid a single day for my maternity leave, being only a few hours short to qualify. Even if I had qualified, the leave I would have gotten would be paltry compared to the time that corporate headquarters workers get.

Starbucks offers a competitive parental leave package -- but those benefits are only for people who work in the corporate office. For expecting parents who work in the stores -- baristas like me -- the company provides much less, or nothing at all. New moms get only 6 weeks of partial pay -- and only when they qualify for a base number of hours -- and new dads and adoptive parents don’t get even a single day.

Send a message to Seattle: sign the petition I’m delivering to Starbucks calling on them to provide a fair and equal parental leave program available to ALL their employees. Hard-working families across the country are facing a caregiving crisis. Starbucks has the opportunity to do the right thing and set the stage for many other companies to follow suit. Together we can win this.

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