Mar 19, 2023 - Business

What Twin Cities employers offer as lawmakers demand paid family leave

Fertility: Employees can use their medical plan for infertility coverage, including in vitro fertilization and other treatments. The firm's plans include up to $25,000 for infertility medical and $10,000 for prescription coverage.

Select Twin Cities-based companies' family benefits
Data: Axios Research; Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

A push to guarantee paid family leave for working Minnesotans is front and center at the state Capitol this year.

The big picture: Democrats are using their majorities in the Legislature to advance legislation that would give employees up to 12 weeks off with partial pay to care for a new baby or loved one, and another 12 weeks for their own medical issues.

  • But calls for the government-run program, which would be funded by a payroll tax increase, have been met with criticism from business groups that argue complying with the mandate will be difficult for employers — especially for small businesses.

Zoom in: Under the draft legislation, employers that offer benefits that meet or exceed the state's standards would be exempt from participating in the program.

  • They'd pay a fee of $250 to $1,000, depending on company size, instead of participating in the payroll tax.

State of play: Here's a look at what some of the Twin Cities' largest or most recognizable companies offer — an update to our tracker from 2021.

  • Below are responses by company representatives, unless otherwise noted.

3M Co.

3M has 12,742 employees in Minnesota.

Paid family leave: Mothers and fathers receive 10 weeks of paid time off and up to 20 weeks total.

  • U.S.-based employees can use up to five days of paid caregiver leave to care for sick children, among other reasons.
  • U.S. employees who take parental leave may return to work on a concurrent, part-time basis for up to 16 weeks.

Fertility: 3M’s bereavement leave policy permits U.S. employees to take paid leave time following a miscarriage or pregnancy loss. 

  • In addition, U.S. employees and their covered dependents who participate in the 3M medical plan may utilize fertility support services through qualified medical providers.

Adoption: All U.S. employees are eligible for up to $5,000 in reimbursement for qualifying expenses relating to adoption or surrogacy.

Allina Health

Allina Health has about 29,000 employees, most living in Minnesota or western Wisconsin.

Paid family leave: Eligible employees may take up to 80 hours of paid caregiver leave. Caregiver leave benefits pay 100% of eligible pay and do not distinguish between primary and secondary.

  • The benefit provides paid time away for an employee to bond and care for the employee’s newborn, adopted or foster child for up to one year after birth or placement.
  • This also includes care for the employee’s family members with a serious health condition, and is in addition to the short-term disability benefit for which a birth parent may be eligible.

Fertility: Allina Health offers Progyny fertility benefits. The company also covers pregnancy/miscarriage in its bereavement leave program, which provides three days of paid leave.

Adoption: Employees can receive $2,000 per child.

Ameriprise Financial

Ameriprise Financial has 4,501 metro-area employees.

Paid family leave: Employees who deliver a baby and have six months of service with the company are eligible for a total of 16 weeks paid leave at 100% to care for their new child or children.

  • Ameriprise also offers a six-week paid parental leave at 100% of pay to birth, adoptive and foster parents who have worked for the company more than six months.

Fertility: Employees who have at least 12 months of service with the company are eligible for a surrogacy assistance program that provides reimbursement of up to $10,00 for related expenses.

Adoption: Employees who have at least 12 months of service with the company are eligible for adoption financial assistance of up to $10,000 for related expenses.

  • Ameriprise also offers a six-week paid parental leave at 100% to adoptive parents who have worked at the company more than six months.

Best Buy Co. Inc.

Best Buy had 9,000 Minnesota employees as of 2021.

Paid family leave: Best Buy provides up to six weeks of time off at 100% of base pay to allow full-time, benefits-eligible employees to take a leave of absence for their own medical condition.

  • Caregivers also receive four weeks of full pay for those who need to care for a spouse or partner, parent, children, siblings, in-laws, grandchildren or grandparents.
  • That benefit doesn’t differentiate between primary and secondary caregivers.

Fertility and adoption: Best Buy provides reimbursement of up to $14,890 for adoption- and surrogacy-related expenses.

  • Employees enrolled in a Best Buy health plan are provided a lifetime maximum of up to $10,000 for fertility treatment services and up to $5,000 for related pharmacy costs.
  • For employees who have experienced a miscarriage, they provide two weeks of pay continuation. Additionally, up to 40 hours of bereavement pay may be used.
  • For employees who have experienced a stillbirth, Best Buy provides up to six weeks of pay continuation. Up to 40 hours of bereavement pay may be used.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota

Blue Cross has about 3,000 associates in Minnesota.

Paid family leave: The company offers 100% pay for up to six weeks under its parental-leave policy, as well as two weeks of paid caregiver leave, which does not vary between primary and secondary.

  • This year, Blue Cross expanded short-term disability benefits for birth-giving parents who need a C-section from up to six weeks to up to eight weeks.

Fertility: Under company health plans, they increased the assisted fertilization lifetime maximum to $25,000, which can also be used for cryopreservation.

  • Their bereavement policy provides five days of leave and can include a child lost to miscarriage or stillbirth.

Adoption: Associates can be reimbursed up to $10,000 for expenses related to adoption, surrogacy and foster care.

General Mills

General Mills has around 4,000 employees statewide.

Paid family leave: General Mills offers fully paid time off of 18-20 weeks for new parents who give birth, and 12 weeks paid parental leave for fathers, partners and adoptive parents.

  • They also provide two weeks of paid caregiver leave.
  • Employees can return to work at a part-time schedule for up to eight weeks before returning full time.

Fertility: The company offers fertility benefits to employees or dependents covered by company health plans, as well as a bereavement policy to employees who have a miscarriage or pregnancy loss.

Adoption: General Mills offers reimbursement up to $10,000 per child for expenses for employees to adopt.

Land O'Lakes

Land O’Lakes has around 2,000 employees who either live or work in Minnesota and are eligible for parental-leave benefits.

Paid family leave: Employees who give birth are eligible for a maternity leave of eight weeks, as well as four weeks of paid parental leave.

  • The latter is also offered to all new parents and can be taken within one year of the birth, adoption or foster placement.

Adoption: They also offer financial assistance to offset the cost of adoption.

  • Additional paid-leave benefits include up to two weeks of caregiver leave and one week of emergency leave.

Medtronic

Medtronic has 11,399 Minnesota employees.

Paid family leave: Primary caregivers receive up to 24 weeks of paid time off.

  • Secondary caregivers get up t0 12 weeks of paid time off.

Fertility: Family care leave allows for six weeks at 100% pay for miscarriage or pregnancy loss.

  • Their fertility benefit includes three fertility cycles, with medication.

Adoption: Medtronic offers reimbursement of $25,000 per child (up to $50,000) for adoption, surrogacy and third-party reproduction expenses.

  • They provide up to 12 weeks at 100% pay for bonding after adoption of a child.

Target

Target had more than 30,000 team members in the Twin Cities as of 2021. The company in 2019 doubled its parental leave benefits.

Paid family leave: Target provides up to four weeks of paid time off to bond with a new child (on top of the six to eight weeks of paid leave for birthing team members) or care for immediate family members.

Fertility and adoption: Target also offers adoption and surrogacy reimbursement, and most Target health plans include fertility benefits, maternity support programs and coverage for doula services.

UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group has more than 19,000 employees in Minnesota.

Paid family leave: Eligible employees get up to six weeks of paid leave upon the birth of a child or placement of a minor child for adoption or foster care. 

  • This benefit is available for birthing and nonbirthing parents.
  • They also offer income replacement for maternity leave for six weeks, or eight weeks following a C-section delivery.
  • Paid time off can be taken as a reduced work schedule to transition back to work on a part-time basis for up to 12 weeks.

Fertility: Employees can use their medical plan for infertility coverage, including in vitro fertilization and other treatments. The firm's plans include up to $25,000 for infertility medical and $10,000 for prescription coverage.

Adoption: UnitedHealth Group provides reimbursement of qualified expenses up to $10,000 for eligible full-time employees and $5,000 for eligible part-time employees.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank has about 13,000 employees in Minnesota.

Paid family leave: Primary caregivers can use up to 10 weeks of paid parental leave in week-long increments during the first 12 months after a child is born or adopted.

  • The birthing parent may also be eligible for up to nine weeks of pregnancy disability pay.
  • The firm offers paid leave for secondary caregivers where required by law.

Fertility: U.S. Bank offers a fertility solutions program that includes counseling and support, plus coverage of up to $25,000 for medical and surgical expenses and up to $10,000 for prescriptions, under a medical plan.

Adoption: Parents who adopt or have a child through a surrogate may be eligible for up to $10,000 in reimbursement of expenses.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo has nearly 16,000 employees statewide.

Paid family leave: Primary caregivers receive up to 16 weeks of paid time off, available after one year of service at the company.

  • Secondary caregivers get up to four weeks of paid time off.
  • One regularly scheduled workweek per year of paid critical-caregiving leave is also available.
  • Plus, they offer an eight-week “returnship” that provides support and resources to relaunch a career.

Fertility: Employees enrolled in an eligible Wells Fargo medical plan are eligible for up to $25,000 of fertility coverage and up to $10,000 for fertility-related prescription drugs.

  • Loss of pregnancy qualifies for bereavement time.

Adoption: Wells Fargo provides up to $5,000 for eligible expenses.

Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy has 4,913 Minnesota employees as of the end of 2022.

Paid family leave: In addition to six to eight weeks of paid maternity leave, Xcel offers an additional four weeks of paid time off to help parents bond with their new child, whether through birth, adoption or fostering.

Adoption: They offer adoption assistance services, which reimburse employees for eligible expenses up to $2,000.

Declined

Life Time Inc. declined to participate by the deadline.

  • Health Partners, North Memorial and United Natural Foods, Inc. did not respond to Axios emails.
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