Constellation Brands, Inc. expanded its parental leave benefits to all eligible U.S. employees last week.
The expansion means that new mothers are eligible for 16 weeks of fully paid leave, up from the prior six-to-eight weeks. Any U.S. employee of the Fortune 500 company, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, can now take up to eight weeks of paid leave when they welcome a new baby or child to their family, including through adoption or foster placement.
According to its 2016 annual report, Constellation—which owns more than 50 wine brands including Kim Crawford, Mount Veeder and Woodbridge as well as Corona, Modello and Pacífico beers—employees about 4,100 in the United States, with another 4,900 working in Canada and Mexico.
“The expanded parental leave policy helps us attract and retain stellar talent across the organization and build an inclusive environment that supports both working moms and dads by removing gender from the equation,” said Tom Kane, the company’s executive vice president and chief human resources officer, in a press release.
A spokeswoman for the company told Wine Enthusiast, “We believe there’s minimal cost impact compared to the improvement in work-life balance for our employees.” She added the expansion costs were not material.
The move puts the company in the same league as Facebook, Credit Suisse, and Amazon, among others who have expanded their parental leave benefits over the past 18 months.
In a survey released last June, however, Deloitte found that more than one-third of men and women asked thought that taking parental leave would put their jobs in jeopardy.
“Not only do more than one-third of respondents feel that taking parental leave would jeopardize their position, but more than half (54 percent overall, 57 percent of men) feel that it would be perceived as a lack of commitment to the job, and 41 percent of those surveyed feel that they would lose opportunities on projects,” the auditing and financial advisory firm said in a press release.