United States

Sweetgreen Introduces 5 Months Paid Parental Leave for All Employees

The fast-casual salad shop Sweetgreen is announcing a new company policy to allow its employees to take paid time off.

All mothers, fathers, adoptive parents, foster parents and those with "new additions to their families" who work for the D.C.-based salad company will receive 5 months of paid parental leave, the company announced Tuesday.

"We believe it's our responsibility to lead the way given the U.S. is one of the few countries that does not mandate any paid leave for new parents," the company's founders Jonathan Neman, Nathaniel Ru and Nicolas Jammet, said. "Nobody makes a bigger impact that our team members - it's their dedication that allows us to live our mission every day: connecting people to real food."

The three Georgetown University graduates, who founded Sweetgreen in Washington, D.C., as a sustainable, progressive start-up, said they were announcing the policy to pave a new path in the restaurant industry.

"This move is rare for our industry and we hope this creates a conversation for other companies to join," they said.

The United States is one of the only advanced economies in the world to not offer guaranteed paid leave to new parents.

The company has made other progressive changes in the past, such as switching out the design of its salad bowls to reduce food and water waste and switching to cashless billing before walking that decision back.

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