The U.S. remains the only high-income country that fails to provide paid family leave, and companies have typically only extended their benefits to salaried or full-time workers. This year, that started to change. (Photo: Shutterstock)

As the labor market tightened in 2018, organizations turned to one benefit in particular to attract and retain U.S. employees: Paid family leave.

After Starbucks Corp. and Walmart Inc. extended paid time off to hourly workers in January, 18 more large companies followed suit. As a result, an estimated 4.8 million people had access to more generous paid leave benefits this year, according to data compiled by PL+US, a paid leave advocacy organization.

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