Affinity Plus Offers Paid Parental Leave For All Parents
For Corey Rupp being a new dad all over again for the fourth time around is a little different for him and his family. He’s not as stressed because his employer, Affinity Plus, offered him paid family leave.
“It allowed us to take the stress of work and finances out of the way and just focus on the family,” said Affinity Plus Vice President of Consumer Lending Corey Rupp.
“To be able to bond with Grady and spend time and really just focus on the family and not have the stress of time and away from work and finances and how am I going to get through this stressful time?” said Rupp. “Medical bills and time off work and still be able to maintain and provide for the family and so it’s been huge. It’s been a huge stress relief.”
Rupp is now back at work but was able to spend plenty of time with his now one-month-old Grady. Rupp’s wife, Stephanie, also appreciated the extra help she received around the house.
“It definitely made a big difference. I mostly noticed it when he went back to work,” said Stephanie Rupp, Corey’s wife. “I realized I was just kind of having to do it all by myself, so it was very nice a big change.”
The announcement for parental leave was made at the All-Employee Day meeting and it brought out several emotions from employees. Regardless if an employee is full time or part time they will earn 100 percent of their paycheck while on leave.
“There were a lot of expectant parents in the room that didn’t know about the benefit and it was highly emotional,” said Jenny Neubeck, Affinity Plus director. There was a standing ovation, hugs and tears it was just a huge reaction from our employees.”
The six weeks of paid parental leave would save the average state employee $6,200 in lost income, according to the office of Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith.
“Once they come back all of their accrued sick leave and vacation aren’t completely gone,” said Neubeck. “They didn’t have to use it all to be paid on their leave spending time with their families so they have some of that leave still there when they come back.”
Employers can’t retaliate against an employee for requesting or taking a leave. Neubeck says there are currently four employees in Bemidji taking advantage of the parental leave benefit.