N.C. Lawyers Weekly
February 10, 2020
Bridget Blinn-Spears, a Member with the firm's Employment & Labor group, was recently featured in the N.C. Lawyers Weekly article, "Law Firms Leading a Culture Change on Parental Leave."
The article details the recent focus on the needs of new parents by the leaders of North Carolina and its Judicial Branch. According to the article, the Judicial Branch would allow new attorneys to take up to 12 weeks to care for their children rather than appear in court hearings. The same month, Governor Roy Copper announced all state employees who are new parents would be eligible for eight weeks of paid leave. Previously, firms with more than 50 employees were required to allow 12 weeks of parental leave, but did not require it to be paid.
While cases might get delayed as an attorney is out on paternity leave, that doesn’t change their outcome, said Bridget Blinn-Spears, an attorney with Nexsen Pruet, which offers 12 weeks of paid leave. More than that, an attorney who’s a new parent and has had plenty of time to bond with their new child can work better for clients than a new parent who’s immediately back on the job, she said.
“It benefits clients having their own lawyer who has been able to handle things and have their head in the game, rather than a person who had a baby four weeks ago,” she said.
Blinn-Spears credited the Judicial Branch policy for recognizing that attorneys who are new parents need time away from the courtroom and not just their firms.
“You hear stories of attorneys on parental leave who show up for a hearing – not necessarily because they couldn’t get it covered by the firm, but because it’s in the best interest for the attorney who handles the case to handle an important hearing,” she said. “The policy will certainly allow people to actually take their full leave without impacting their cases.”
Read the full article here.
Bridget Blinn-Spears is a recognized litigator who helps employers navigate the complexities and peculiarities of managing their unique workforce. In addition to her employment-related matters, Bridget regularly works on corporate transactions and advises on and handles the transaction process, force reduction and employee notification.
Nexsen Preut is an Am Law 200 Firm with more than 200 professionals in eight offices providing regional capabilities with international strengths.