Developer and publisher Electronic Arts has opened the new year by expanding its paid parental leave program for U.S.-based employees who have been with the company over a year to a full ten weeks.
It's a notable (and public) show of support for new mothers, fathers, and adoptive parents at the company. An EA representative told GamesIndustry.biz that it more than doubles the amount of paid parental leave time available to EA employees in every state save California, where EA employees were previously afforded 7 weeks of leave.
"Research shows that paid leave improves employee morale, retention and most importantly, has significant benefits for family health and wellness," EA executive Gabrielle Toledano wrote in the blog post announcing the change, citing research from the Institue for Women's Policy Research. "At EA, we want to create a culture that inspires you to do the best work of your career, but we know you can only do that by having the flexibility and support to balance your career and personal life."
This also comes after U.S. president Barack Obama made a show of calling for more paid parental leave in the United States last year, stating in a State of the Union address that "we’re the only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers."
For more insight into the unique challenges that come with becoming a parent who also makes games, check out this Gamasutra feature on the challenges of being a mom in game development.