Paid Leave Letter of Support – Patagonia

March 6, 2024

Dear Governor Shapiro and House and Senate Leadership:

On behalf of Patagonia, I urge you to create a state paid family and medical leave program for Pennsylvania. I appreciate the opportunity to share input about our experience in providing paid leave to our employees and our perspective on why paid leave is good for business. Patagonia is an outdoor apparel company that employs more than 3,000 people globally, with 2,200 of those employees residing across the United States, including Pittsburgh where we operate a retail store.

We support our people with generous paid family, medical and caregiver leave. These benefits help us attract and retain talent, and retaining employees is crucial because turnover is expensive: It includes lost productivity while the position is vacant, and then the costs of recruiting, hiring and training new personnel. We see nearly 100% of mothers returning to work at Patagonia after taking maternity leave, and because of our paid leave and childcare benefits, women make up about 50% of our workforce—including 50% of upper management positions.

However, paid leave should not be a competitive advantage for Patagonia. Workers, regardless of their company, industry or location, should be provided with paid time off when they need to care for themselves, a newborn child or ill family member. We encourage government policy that provides a minimum of 12 weeks of paid leave for all forms of caregiving, and with wage replacement that ensures low-wage workers get the support they need. In the absence of a federal paid leave policy, states can take the lead on this issue—13 other states and Washington D.C. already have paid leave programs.

In short, paid leave is good for business. Paid leave is critical for a productive workforce as well as the health of our overall economy. Research consistently shows that paid leave policies improve retention, productivity and morale—all drivers of a profitable business. While responsible companies voluntarily provide paid leave, many businesses do not, so some workers lack the paid time off necessary to balance their careers and caregiving responsibilities. I urge you to correct this for Pennsylvania by creating a state paid family and medical leave program.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit a statement for the record, and please let me know if I can be of further assistance,

Kristine Campbell
General Manager
Patagonia Pittsburgh