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Move over, maternity leave. ‘Fur-ternity leave’ is the latest benefit at this company

Nina Hale, a company based in Minneapolis, is now offering employees a new benefit called “fur-ternity leave.” - File photo
Nina Hale, a company based in Minneapolis, is now offering employees a new benefit called “fur-ternity leave.” - File photo

A company based in Minnesota with 80 employees has taken parental leave to the next level by offering “fur-ternity leave” for dog moms and dads.

Nina Hale, a digital marketing agency based in Minneapolis, allows employees with a new cat or dog to work from home for a week to help them get settled, a news release obtained by McClatchy says.

“Families come in all different shapes and sizes — as do new babies in a household,” Allison McMenimen, EVP of client services at Nina Hale, said in an interview with Twin Cities Business. “We want to celebrate [our diverse workforce] by making sure there are policies that enable everyone to support their definition of family.”

The new policy became an official company benefit in July.

“Nina Hale leadership had heard from team members that this specific benefit would help increase work-life happiness, which for Nina Hale, is a huge part of their employee culture,” said Amber Schwab, senior specialist of client development and marketing, via email. “While Nina Hale proudly offers other top-notch modern benefits, including employee ownership, remote working flexibility, and a sunny new office with a free gym, fur-ternity leave was embraced as a new benefit because they noticed a growing trend in new pet-ownership within the agency family over the last year.”

Twin Cities Business reports pre-existing benefits at the company include “ up to 12 weeks paternity and maternity leave, a minimum of 18 days of PTO per year, year-round 1 p.m. Friday end times, and an allotment of summer season remote work days.”

The company added the benefit after one of its employees, Senior Account Manager Connor McCarthy, requested to work from home after he recently adopted a Goldendoodle puppy named Bentley, The New York Times reports.

“It can be a stressful situation going from its original home to a new home,” McCarthy told the newspaper.

Within a day, his request was approved.

“For a lot of people, their pets are their children,” McMenimen told The New York Times. “Our employees are at all different stages of their lives.”

Michaela Broyles: 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles