Should the U.S. require paid maternity leave? | The Tylt
The U.S. is one of the few countries that does not require paid maternity leave. India recently extended their paid mandatory leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks, leaving many Americans wondering why the U.S. is so behind the times. Business interests say requiring paid maternity leave is a limiting one-size-fits-all solution. It's better to let the business and the employee decide what works best. What do you think?
Should the U.S. require paid maternity leave?
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.
The impact of our terrible federal family leave mandate does not fall evenly. And 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 new 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 shipping DVDs — 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 women into an impossible choice between their health and their economic security.
Many low-income women who have a baby are forced either to sacrifice their health to maintain their family’s economic security or to risk their economic security for the sake of their family’s health. Either “choice” only deepens the ever-widening gap — in incomes, in health outcomes, in overall well-being — between the rich and the poor in the U.S.
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.
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."
it baffles me how the US is one of the two countries in the WHOLE WORLD who don't offer paid maternity leave— syd🔮 (@_sparks_18) February 24, 2017