Starting October 1st MaineHealth will offer paid parental leave to all eligible full-and part-time mothers and fathers after giving birth or to adoptive parents after the arrival of their baby. The leave will allow for full pay for four weeks.

MaineHealth is Maine's largest employer with Barbara Bush Children's Hospital, Maine Medical Center, psychiatric hospital Spring Harbor Hospital, NorDx Laboratories under their umbrella as well as more hospitals and locations throughout Maine and New Hampshire. MaineHealth currently has over 19,000 employees according to the Portland Press Herald.

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Maine is paving the way for businesses to offer such a benefit. With MaineHealth now on board, our top three largest employers offer paid paternal leave. Hannaford Supermarkets, which comes in at the second-largest announced this benefit in August, and Walmart/Sam's Club, which is the third-largest employer started offering the benefit in February of 2018.

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is the fourth largest employer in the state and at this time does not offer the benefit although they recently made strides in accommodating breastfeeding mothers. A representative from BIW said that it is primarily due to being largely unionized that comes with unique negotiations for different contracts.

L.L. Bean rounding out the top five, began offering this benefit in January of 2018.

In a state that has struggled over the years to keep and attract young people, a benefit like this is certainly an incentive to live, work, and raise a family.