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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Friday, Jun. 21, 2019 4 months ago

Manufacturer employs paid family leave benefit

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Employee-owned Pelican Wire of Naples enhances benefit package with extended leave program.

A Naples-based manufacturer has taken flight in wiring up its employees up with a benefit that is trending nationally.

In doing so, the company, Pelican Wire — an employee-owned maker of application-driven wire solutions in thermocouple, resistance and custom wire — proves the fastest way to get businesses to adapt to social and cultural changes is through necessity and innovation, not by force of government. The new benefit? Pelican Wire, with some 40 employees, recently added comprehensive paid family leave to its benefit package, providing maternity and paternity leave, as well as leave for primary caregivers of immediate family members with a serious health condition requiring full-time care.

Provided at no cost to the employee-owners, the benefit extends beyond short-term disability, which provides coverage for situations involving a serious health condition of the employee only. While government officials from both political parties have talked about mandating new leave policies for years, some companies have been doing what Pelican Wire did because it makes good business sense in recruiting and retaining the best people.  

“We are seeing a dynamic range of family situations requiring more flexibility and increased coverage,” Amy Foster, who manages Pelican Wire human resources, tells Coffee Talk. “Some of our millennial employee-owners are starting families and we recognize the importance of maternity and paternity leave. Other employees may be dealing with becoming caregivers of aging parents, which could require time away from work. We want to provide a benefits package that embraces those needs.”

The benefit will apply to employees at the company’s Naples and Loveland, Colo., facilities. Pelican Wire works globally across multiple industries, including aerospace, medical, industrial, automotive and defense.

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