Netflix sought publicity for its generosity toward workers earlier this month when the company announced "unlimited" maternity and paternity leave for employees in the first year after a child's birth or adoption. The announcement failed to mention that the offer only applied to full-time salaried employees in its streaming division. Workers for its DVD division, who are often paid hourly, would not be covered. Now UltraViolet, the women's advocacy group behind high-profile campaigns targeting Reebok and the NFL, is pressuring Netflix to stop "leaving poor women out of parental leave."
According to its 2014 annual report, Netflix has roughly 2,189 full-time employees and 261 part-time and temporary workers. The Huffington Post, which reported on the benefit split, spoke with an employee in the DVD division who said, "We just get the raw end of things now since streaming is bigger."
In a press release today, UltraViolet said its 46,000 members are petitioning Netflix to "do the right thing":
"Netflix is leaving workers who could benefit the most from a generous paid leave policy behind and that is offensive, said Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet. "With childcare costs skyrocketing nationwide, hourly workers at Netflix need parental leave more urgently than ever. Two thirds of minimum wage earners are women. For that reason, women are watching Netflix right now to see if they do the right thing. We urge them to support all of the many working moms and dads who contribute to their success."
When Netflix announced enhanced benefits for parents, tech corporations like Microsoft and Adobe quickly followed.
This post has been updated to include comment from Netflix. When contacted by BuzzFeed News, the company initially declined to give a statement.
Nitasha Tiku is a senior writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.
Contact Nitasha Tiku at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.