Should the U.S. require paid family leave?
via AP

Should the U.S. require paid family leave?

#SupportNewParents
#LetCompaniesDecide
Join the conversation and vote below

The U.S. remains the only industrialized nation not to guarantee paid parental leave, but polls have found the majority of Americans support paid family leave. Business interests argue paid family leave is a limiting, one-size-fits-all solution. It's better to let the business and the employee decide what works best for them. But others think it's wrong that the U.S. doesn't guarantee any time for new parents. What do you think?

THE VOTES ARE IN!
#SupportNewParents
82.2%
#LetCompaniesDecide
17.8%

According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. is the only industrialized nation not to require paid family leave. First daughter Ivanka Trump is working with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to come up with a paid family leave plan (though critics argue it could actually leave women worse off).

The lack of mandated paid leave is disproportionately felt by the poor. They're more likely to be in jobs with fewer perks and paid time off.

As elite employers—like Microsoft, Netflix, and Adobe, to name the latest—are increasingly competing for talent by announcing generous paid family leave policies, the disparity is destined to grow. Netflix’s much-criticized two-tier parental leave policy—12 months for well-compensated, salaried employees on the digital side but just 12 weeks for the lower-paid, hourly workers—reflects the reality in the U.S. economy writ large: We may be a nation of paupers when it comes to support for working parents, but there are still haves and have-nots.

This disparity forces new parents, and particularly new mothers, into an impossible choice between their health and their economic security.Paid maternity leave is not a radical idea. The rest of the world has paid leave in some form—the U.S. should catch up with the times. 

But the business community says paid leave is expensive, and is something that should be decided between employers and employees. Mandating paid leave would either be a new government entitlement or regulation that would hurt businesses. At the end of the day, someone has to pay for it.

"The challenge with mandates is it is a government one-size-fits-all approach that tries to bring all of these unique workforces and workplaces under this one-size-fits-all approach," says Lisa Horn, spokeswoman at the Society for Human Resource Management, a trade group for HR workers. "It limits workplace flexibility and company innovation in this area."

Mandating paid parental leave would force new parents to take time off work regardless of whether they wanted to or not. The reality of maintaining a career and starting a family is unique to every individual, which is why employers should be free to make their own decisions about how best to support their employees. 

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