3 Companies You've (Probably) Never Heard of With Awesome Parental Leave Policies

Most of us have heard the good news: This year, lots of big, famous companies have made it easier for new moms and dads to "lean in." Those companies include Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, Microsoft, and Netflix — all of which have shiny new parental leave policies that range from 18 weeks paid leave for new parents to a year of paid leave for new parents.

While these companies are admirable and progressive, these policies also make good business sense. Having generous paid parental leave policies improves employee morale, employee retention, and employee productivity.

But it's not only household-name companies with deep pockets that are enacting these initiatives. Meet three companies you may not have heard of that make it easy for new parents to take their time bonding with their babies, and then transition back into work with new perspective and gusto.

1. Happy Family
Happy Family, a New York-based organic baby food company (that also offers product lines for toddlers and kids), offers parental leave benefits that are consistent with the company’s name. Happy Family offers 6 months of “supported maternity leave.” This means a minimum of three months paid leave, plus a plan for the next 3 months created by employees and their supervisors that could involve working from home, working from home a few days a week, or bringing babies to work (there’s a nursery in the office). The company also offers 4 weeks paid paternity leave.

"It just makes sense to adopt policies like this," says founder and CEO Shazi Visram. "If I was an employee somewhere and I had only 3 or 4 weeks of maternity leave, I would have been like, 'I'm not coming back.' If you had given me 3 months of leave and people giving me support and saying, 'Hey, take the time!' then I would think, 'I can handle it. I'll be back in 6 weeks.' I think there are a lot of new parents who want to be back in the action, after the initial period when you've had time to bond."

2. MSEP (Manufacturing, Sales, Equipment, Products), LLC
MSEP manufactures environmentally-friendly alternatives to products that are traditionally made with chemicals, like household cleaners, hand sanitizer, baby products (!), and painting supplies. Their products are available at Walmart and the crafting store Michaels, and they have a new hand sanitizer and cleanser launching in Lowe's nationwide in 2016.

Their parental leave policy is 2 paid months of leave for both women and men.

"Our family leave policy is not something that was ever up for discussion," says MSEP founder and CEO Donna Seeman. "We are a family business first and to stay true to that ethos, paid family leave for both male and female parents was just a given."

Seeman has seen a benefit to this policy that goes beyond profits or happy employees: it's on brand for the company's family-friendly mission.

"This policy serves us well in both recruiting and retaining team members, but perhaps most importantly the policy serves to illustrate the importance we place on family," she says. "As we build our brand in the marketplace this has become an important piece of our brand identity."

3. Blue Corona
Blue Corona is a digital marketing firm that caters to small-to-medium-size businesses. Blue Corona has 35 employees, split between two offices: one in Maryland and one in North Carolina. Both men and women employees can take six weeks of paid leave, for the birth/adoption/fostering of a child or even to take care of an ill family member. The company also offers employees the option to take an additional four weeks of unpaid leave. "For a small company, we’re headed in the right direction," says CEO Ben Landers,

Landers sees paid parental leave policies as something that belongs on the roster of perks for hardworking employees of startups.

"On top of our profit sharing, matching 401K, free lunch Fridays, casual office environment, and the rewarding nature of the work we do, helping other small businesses grow, I think we have a pretty compelling package for family-minded folks," he says.

More From Levo:
• Amazon's New Parental Leave Policies Are Way Better Than #PrimeDay
• How to Make Maternity Leave Work as an Entrepreneur
• 14 Incredible Perks for New Parents Beyond Paid Parental Leave

Photo Credit: Chris Ryan via Getty Images