Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

For Three Banks, Family Leave Is No Big Deal

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

For Three Banks, Family Leave Is No Big Deal

Article excerpt

The new family leave law should not present a big problem to banks, according to three members of ABA's Human Resources Division.

The law, which takes effect Aug. 6, requires employers with more than 50 workers to provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave for employees who have been with the company a year and who have a newborn child, an adoption, or a serious illness of their own or of a family member. Companies must guarantee the same or a comparable job for the worker when he or she returns, and they must continue health care and other benefits during the absence.

Many banks such as Barnett Banks, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., already have similar leave policies in place. "I think [the law] is a positive thing," says Phyllis D. Heisey, director of staffing services. "It strives to reach a balance between business and personal needs."

Heisey says the most costly aspect of the leave policy is extending medical benefits. However, she also says it costs less than replacing employees.

Dana Gilkison, vice-president and human resources manager at The Commercial Bank, Salem, Oreg., says the bank has had a family leave program similar to the one required by the new law for about three years. …

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