Penske Automotive Group
El Monte , CA
Overall Rank for 2012: 81
Almost every dealership provides health care coverage for its workers. But how far those benefits go is a defining trait of behemoth dealership Longo Toyota.
For couples who cannot bear children, Longo provides adoption assistance for its employees. Longo allows for extended leaves of absence for the adoption process -- which often means traveling across the world to meet a potential adoptee.
"The state of California allows for paid family leave. But we try to look at salary continuation," said Steve Nunez, human resources director for Penske Motor Group. "Depending on what the state pays them, we will try to keep them whole."
Then there's the time commitment involved.
"People want to know how to take time off and still continue their benefits," Nunez said. "Usually we don't allow employees to take more than a couple consecutive weeks. But this is a special time. If they need three weeks" to go overseas, "then we tell them to go for it."
Once those employment logistics are ironed out, the legal maze of adoption can be even harder. Longo gives employees assistance with referrals to a network of attorneys who offer a free first consultation. If an attorney is hired, Longo pays 25 percent of the legal fees.
"It's a pretty exciting situation to assist with, but it's also costly and quite a process," Nunez said.
Citing confidentiality concerns, Nunez could not disclose how many employees have taken advantage of the policy.
Longo also offers child-care flex time and financial assistance, including pretax incentives up to $5,000.
"It's hard with benefits today, when you are covering a group of people who speak 40 languages," said Greg Penske, CEO of Penske Motor Group. "But if one person uses it, it's a positive."
-- Mark Rechtin