Anti-family? Yahoo doubles maternity leave

The Internet giant will offer new moms a generous 16 weeks of paid time off. Is it enough to quell the backlash from CEO Marissa Mayer's work-from-home ban?

By Aimee Picchi Apr 30, 2013 3:59PM

Marissa Mayer on NBC News' 'Today' show on Feb. 20, 2013 (© Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)Yahoo (YHOO) appears to be trying to undo the poor image it earned after chief executive Marissa Mayer banned working from home, offending many with what they viewed as an anti-family policy. 


Mayer is now offering her employees a generous package of family leave benefits, which give new moms 16 weeks of paid leave and fathers up to eight weeks. Employees also retain their other benefits while taking the leave, according to NBC Bay Area.


That means that new moms working for Yahoo will receive up to twice as much paid time off as they previously could claim, as the company used to offer eight weeks paid maternity leave, or 10 weeks if the mom had a C-section. 


On top of that, Yahoo will provide new parents with $500 to spend on services such as house cleaning and babysitters, as well as groceries. 


That's the kind of generous program that most employees would love to have. As anyone who has struggled to juggle a newborn and household chores can attest, being able to hire a cleaning service would would be a godsend. 


Mayer took a bashing after she banned telecommuting, telling workers that they needed to come into the office or quit, as I reported in MSN moneyNOW in February. Twitter was flooded with negative comments; one person said the policy is "awful for ALL workers."


While the new maternity benefits may serve to heal some unfavorable views of Mayer, she could also simply be keeping up with the benefits packages offered by her Silicon Valley rivals, notes the Huffington Post


Google (GOOG), where Mayer was previously employed, offers five months of paid leave to new mothers and seven weeks to fathers. For its part, Facebook (FB) offers four months off for new parents. 


Of course, Mayer herself also drew controversy for her personal approach to maternity leave: She only took a few weeks of leave after giving birth to her son.

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi


More on moneyNOW

Apr 30, 2013 4:30PM
Geez, I'd be lucky if I could get a whole week. 8 weeks for fathers? Wow!
May 1, 2013 7:56AM
Funny how they could avoid all of this if they simply let some folks work from home. If this company can't manage folks that work from home why should we think they can manage those that don't.
May 1, 2013 10:38AM
She may have gotten back to work earlier than what most women are expected to, but she has the luxury of having most everything she needs to take care of her child right where she works. Ms. Miller doesn't have to telecommute, since the nursery is RIGHT THERE at Yahoo! right beside her office. Sure, Ms. Miller claims she used her own money herself to have the nursery built, but after the initial construction, who pays to maintain it? Does she get help in taking care of her child? Who pays for that person? And is she still on company time when she takes care of her child while at the office? Are the regular employees of Yahoo! afforded those benefits, too (e.g. free nursery/daycare at work, still getting paid even when one needs to go to daycare to care for a child)?
Apr 30, 2013 5:14PM
She shows that she is anti-family with her own family.  What woman in her right mind only takes a few weeks off after giving birth??  All the women I know wish they could get more time off than the measly 12 weeks.  For new mothers, it's a dreadful thought of leaving your 3 month old at a daycare. Geesh!
Apr 30, 2013 7:37PM
Anti-male.  Fathers only get 8 weeks, but mothers get 16.
Apr 30, 2013 9:45PM
May 1, 2013 8:53AM

Part of the Psyche problems in the workplace today....

Expectations of Maternity leave...PAID.

Expectations of Paternity leave...PAID.


We only hoped to get time off for the woman to have the baby, and then maybe return to work.?

To be able to go back, if she wanted to and go back to her previous position.

And then the Father's only duties, were to help out more at home.

As far as leave at work....Maybe a few hours or a day, to help get Mom and baby get settled..

Nothing more....And NOBODY, was paid for not working.

Apr 30, 2013 5:31PM
E.R.A., but only when it is in their favor ............... I wonder who pays for these "special people" benefits when there is no money to give out raises for those who have EARNED them, not just managed to be a breeder .............. simply another extension of mandatory charitable handouts to another minority, "the new Democracy"!

"Waaaa, he said that, and I have a vagina so that could benefit ..................  ME ME ME ME ME ME ME, Waaaa"!
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