CHAMPION TWP, Mich. (WLUC) - Last Fall, Meagen Morrison, Social Responsibility Advisor for Eagle Mine, saw an opportunity to raise the bar of modern mining and encourage more women to pursue careers in the industry. Her idea: paid maternity leave.
In the United States, the government mandates up to 12 weeks of leave through the Family Medical Leave Act, but it’s not paid.
“Being a young mother, I understand the value of those precious first weeks with a newborn baby,” said Morrison. “Having paid maternity leave would allow me to focus on the critical needs of my baby and my family without having to worry about finances.”
Morrison took her idea straight to the CEO of Lundin Mining, encouraging him to consider implementing a paid maternity leave policy at Eagle Mine and expressing that it would reflect Lundin’s values and guiding principles.
Thirteen minutes later she received a reply that he was open to the idea and wanted to discuss it further.
The result? Eagle Mine now has a paid maternity and paternity leave policy that went into effect last week.
The policy offers paid leave to full-time employees upon the birth or adoption of a child. Under the policy, female employees will receive 12 weeks of paid leave and male employees will receive 80 hours of paid leave. Employees also have the option to extend their leave using their vacation hours.
“We are proud to offer this new benefit to our employees,” said Peter Richardson, Eagle Mine General Manager. “We understand the importance of the work-family balance. We want our employees to have important quality bonding time with their child without having to stress over finances. We don’t ever want our employees to be faced the difficult choice of whether to stay home during those first few months with their child.”
“Not only is paid leave a women’s issue, but it’s a global economic issue," Richardson said. "We want to attract and retain the best talent to our company, and that requires us to be forward-thinking when it comes to parental leave.”