Akin Gump Announces Significant Enhancements to Family-Friendly Benefits; Launches Adoption, Surrogacy and Fertility Resource

(Washington, D.C.) – As part of its ongoing efforts to foster an inclusive and equitable workplace, Akin Gump is proud to announce two significant enhancements to the firm’s family-support policies: a substantial expansion of parental and family leave for its U.S. business services staff, and the launch of a new adoption, surrogacy and fertility resource, WINFertility. The firm also announced an enhancement of adoption benefits and the inclusion, for the first time, of surrogacy benefits for U.S. personnel.

Under the new policy, eligible U.S. business services employees qualify for up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave at 100 percent base salary to bond with a newborn child or with an infant placed for adoption or foster care—an increase from the four weeks of leave previously available. This enhanced benefit is equivalent to the amount of paid parental leave provided to the firm’s U.S. lawyers and advisors. It is also in addition to the minimum of eight weeks of disability leave that parents who give birth will continue to receive—for a total combined paid leave of 20 weeks in most cases.

At the same time, Akin Gump has announced a new industry-leading benefit for salaried lawyers and advisors, who are now eligible for up to four weeks of paid family leave at 100 percent pay in any given 24-month period to care for a child, spouse, parent or other qualifying family member with a serious medical condition that necessitates the lawyer or advisor’s absence from work.

The firm is also very pleased to announce a new program with WINFertility, the nation’s leading fertility benefits management company with more than 20 years of experience, specializing in supporting families pursuing infertility treatment, adoption and/or surrogacy. 

As part of this program, WIN will offer Akin Gump U.S. personnel access to experienced nurse care managers who serve as clinical and behavioral advocates for individuals throughout their family-building journey. WIN nurse care managers provide education, care navigation, help in understanding treatment options, and recommendations and referrals to experienced agencies for adoption and surrogacy. Through their WIN for Him program, WIN will also provide focused advocacy and support for men to better understand their fertility options so they can choose the best course forward based on their personal needs.

For many years, Akin Gump has been recognized by the Dave Thomas Foundation for its best-in-class adoption policy. In conjunction with the launch of the WIN program, the firm is also pleased to expand that policy to include surrogacy and to increase the eligible lifetime maximum reimbursement for all eligible U.S. personnel for eligible expenses related to adoption and/or surrogacy.

Meg Meserole, chief human resources officer at Akin Gump, commented, “We are proud of our efforts to provide holistic, best-in-class benefits, programs and resources that support all aspects of our employees’ lives, regardless of their position at the firm, and that align with our commitment to diversity and inclusion. All of these enhancements are made with the overarching goal of meeting our employees where they are.”

“WINFertility  is excited to partner with Akin Gump to offer family-building benefits that provide work-life balance and support career paths that include having children, “ said Roger Shedlin, MD, JD, and CEO of WINFertility. “Our nurse care managers are available 24/7 to offer support and advocacy to Akin Gump employees throughout their family-building journey.”

Akin Gump has been the recipient of numerous recognitions for its inclusive and holistic workplace policies. Among the awards the firm has received over the last year, Akin Gump was recognized by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption for the seventh consecutive year as a Best Adoption-Friendly Workplace; named a Top Firm for Working Mothers by Yale Law Women; and, for the 14th consecutive year, recognized with a perfect score by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in its annual Corporate Equality Index.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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