May 11, 2016 / 8:42 PM / a year ago

Nike expands, adds to its paid family leave

The logo of Nike sportswear maker is seen at a company's store at Tbilisi Mall in Tbilisi, Georgia, April 22, 2016.David Mdzinarishvili

(Reuters) - Full-time U.S. employees of Nike Inc. (NKE.N) who are new parents or who are needed to care for sick family members are now eligible to receive eight weeks of paid leave, the world's biggest sportswear company said on Wednesday.

Birth mothers are now eligible for a minimum of 14 paid weeks of leave, Nike said, with more paid leave allowable if a doctor deems it medically necessary. Previously, birth mothers were allowed a minimum of six weeks paid leave to care for their newborns, said a company spokeswoman.

Fathers, adoptive parents and employees with sick family members had not been allowed paid leave under Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike's previous policy, but can now take up to eight weeks of paid leave.

The benefit changes apply to Nike employees who have a regular work schedule of 30 or more hours a week. Employees are eligible for the benefit on their first day of work, the company said.

More large employers are expanding paid leave policies. For example, Netflix Inc. (NFLX.O) said last year it would give its salaried employees up to 12 months of "unlimited" paid parental leave.

Reporting by Melissa Fares; Editing by David Gregorio

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