May 01, 2008 // Franchising.com // Minneapolis - The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption today named Carlson as one of the "Best Adoption-Friendly" companies in America. In addition, the company tied for first place in the hotel and travel industry category for the second consecutive year. The recognition is based on adoption benefits, including financial assistance and paid leave, that companies offer their employees. Carlson provides up to $5,000 and six-weeks-paid leave per adoption to all employees.
In addition to receiving a number one ranking in the hotel and travel industry, Carlson ranked number 74 in the foundation's overall Top 100 list. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. tied Carlson for the top industry ranking.
"We understand that there are many challenges associated with adoption," said Susan MacHolda, senior director, work-life and diversity, Carlson. "In addition to our comprehensive adoption package, we offer employees help with locating adoption resources, counseling services and support groups through our employee assistance program."
Caroline Larson, director of loyalty marketing, Carlson Hotels Worldwide, has adopted two children during her time at Carlson. She has cited the company's adoption-leave policy as one of the best benefits the company offers.
"The time off that Carlson offers to adoptive parents is essential," said Larson. "It allows for parents and child to establish a bond, and gives the child time to adapt to their new home. Since my children had time to adapt at home, it made their transition into the Carlson daycare much easier, which also helped me phase back to work."
Carlson has been on Working Mother magazine's list of the Best 100 Companies for Working Mothers for six of the past seven years. In addition to adoption assistance, Carlson's benefits and programs include onsite childcare, flexible work arrangements, mental health assistance and palliative care.
The Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces in America list was compiled using data collected from human resources professionals and business leaders of 919 U.S. employers. Survey rankings are based first on the maximum amount of financial reimbursement per adoption, which includes any additional support for special-needs adoption, and second on the maximum number of weeks of paid leave per adoption. In addition to ranking the top 100, the foundation also recognizes the top 10 by size, the leaders of each industry, and companies who support the cause of adoption and adoptive families in other ways. Additional information is available at www.AdoptionFriendlyWorkplace.org.