Minnesota company gives ‘fur-ternity leave’ to pet parents
Published 8:00 pm Sunday, August 19, 2018
MINNEAPOLIS — A digital marketing company in Minneapolis has adopted a new policy that it calls “fur-ternity” leave, allowing employees with new pets to work from home.
Nina Hale’s policy was inspired by senior accounts manager Connor McCarthy.
McCarthy adopted a Goldendoodle named Bentley in May, and wanted to help his puppy settle into his new home. He said he discussed the possibility of making adjustments to his schedule with this supervisor so that he could work and spend time with Bentley.
“I think it was great,” he said. “Within a couple of weeks, he was potty-trained. I was able to help out with that.”
McCarthy’s request was quickly approved, and it tipped company leadership off that animals were just as important to their employees as human babies, said Allison McMenimen, executive vice president for client services at Nina Hale.
“We realized that we had received these requests a couple of times, and we thought, for so many of our hardworking, dedicated employees, there’s an opportunity for us to reciprocate their dedication and give them additional flexibility when they’re making a major life change,” she said. “And in this case, instead of a human baby, it’s a fur baby.”
The company rolled out the policy in its benefits package three months later.
Fur-ternity leaves are another step in helping employees start their families, McMenimen said.
“People are at all different points during their life,” she said. “So for us, it’s about providing flexibility to people — however they define their family — even if it’s not a formal parental leave.”