Pass Legislation for Mandatory Paid Maternity Leave in Tennessee
This petition had 1,878 supporters
Recently I was told that I was only eligible for twelve weeks unpaid maternity leave and no paid leave at all. Stress and worry flooded my head and heart. My boyfriend is in college so he is unable to work a lot. It has never been an issue because of my income, but how was I supposed to pay my bills for those four months? That's four months of car payments, car insurance, student loan bills, rent, electric, groceries and not to mention the new expenses of diapers, formula, wipes, etc. that we would have. I was also shocked because my company brings in millions of dollars in revenue every year. Paid maternity leave, maybe not the full twelve weeks, is feasible for the company. I realized that I would be better off not working, and taking advantage of federal and state aid programs such as WIC, food stamps, and TennCare. I want to work, I want to provide for my family, but it is now seemingly impossible for me for at least a month because I am a women and am having a baby. Even the loss of that one month's wages could be detrimental to my family. Disappointed and saddened I knew something had to change, if not for me, for the other women in my state and hopefully the country as a whole.
I start with a call to my state governor Bill Haslam because I believe changes in legislation at the state and local level are important and more easily attainable. Also, I would be so proud for my state to pave the way with important legislation such as this. Let's begin helping women and mothers become more successful instead of standing in their way and adding to the glass ceiling so many women must already overcome on a daily basis in the workplace. I am asking Tennessee's legislators to please draft and pass legislation enacting some sort of required paid maternity leave. If you agree with me and want to see a reform in our state's legislation I ask that you sign my petition to change the law regarding the issue.
Some quick facts to consider before making your decision:
- When Google increased paid maternity leave they saw a 50% decrease in the amount of women who left the company.
- States that have already enacted legislation for required paid maternity leave reported no difference in profitability of companies
- Many women without access to paid maternity leave go back to work as quickly as ten days after having their babies which can attribute to postpartum depression
- In over 2/3 of families with children women are the "breadwinners"
- FMLA isn't enough and over 64% of women do not take the leave they are eligible for as result of lack of income for their time off after pregnancy
- 78 countries already have required paid paternity leave
- "According to the United Nations’ International Labour Organization, there are only two countries in the world that don’t have some form of legally protected, partially paid time off for working women who’ve just had a baby: Papua New Guinea and the U.S."
- Women in states with mandatory paid maternity leave are returning to their jobs after leave in higher numbers
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