January 19, 2021

Deloitte U.S. Delivery Center Employees Should Get the Same Parental Leave Perks As Everyone Else

I am an employee of the Deloitte U.S. firm. I am part of the consulting practice through their U.S. Delivery Center (USDC) model. We work closely with core consultants for Deloitte, often on the same project teams operating at the same level. USDC practitioners have travel capped at 20-30% and our three offices are located in lower-cost areas. We also have a different (more cost effective for the firm) benefits package (fewer perks, healthcare options, less PTO, etc.).

For the most part this makes sense, and we still have excellent benefits. However, when Deloitte rolled out their new parental leave package about five years ago, they decided not to extend it to the USDC and one other operating model. The USDC employees are full-time regular employees (not independent contractors or temporary employees). Many of the people in my office (likely a higher percentage of our office than core offices) are immigrants of color.

We are allowed two weeks of parental leave. Mothers get an additional six weeks disability (eight if you have a C-section). For the disability to kick in, you have to take one full week of PTO, which is calculated in those totals, so really it’s five to seven weeks disability. Then we are allowed to drain our remaining PTO and take unpaid leave. This impacts a few thousand employees.

By comparison, our core consulting colleagues (as well as our colleagues in the U.S. India delivery centers) get 16 weeks parental leave. Birthing mothers get the additional disability time as well for a total of almost six months. Deloitte’s internal IT and administrative support teams are considered part of core. So at the USDC building, the gentleman who restocks printer cartridges and sorts the mail is entitled to eight times the parental leave of a client-facing woman who gives birth.

One woman on a project team with core consultants had a child at the same time last year as a male core consulting counterpart. We had two consultants who had children last year at almost the same time. The female employee from the USDC who gave birth was out for a total of 12 weeks (two to three of which was unpaid time after draining her PTO). The male core consultant received and took 16 weeks parental leave that did not include any of his PTO. He left two weeks before his female colleague who gave birth and returned two weeks later. These two employees were/are operating in the same capacity on the team and completing the same basic work. The woman who gave birth actually had to take on additional responsibilities to cover for her male colleague when she returned with a 12-week-old baby of her own.

Another USDC employee was hired by the firm while already pregnant. She was there long enough to qualify for the two weeks parental leave and disability but did not have PTO accrued. She went into negative PTO to get her son his two-month immunizations and was placed on an extremely demanding project when she returned. The core consultant she reported to on the project complained that, among other things, she was not available enough. She was then laid off a month or two after returning.

We have raised this to leadership, but to date no action has been taken. This is likely not illegal but it does go against their public image as a parent-friendly workplace.

I love my work, my colleagues are amazing, and I truly enjoy working for Deloitte. I am grateful to have a job right now and do not want to get fired for rabble-rousing, but I am just so tired. This policy makes life much harder for many working mothers at Deloitte, and I think it needs to be included in their publicly available profile/information.

Anonymous Deloitte U.S. employee

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