Federally Mandated Law On Extended Paid Maternal and Paternal Leave
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United States is one of the top developed countries in the world, ranking as the top player in economic strength, military power, education, and quality of life. Sadly, the country is rated as one of the worst places for parental leave. In today’s world individuals are striving to make a difference, live better lives, while achieving work and family balance. Starting a family and raising a newborn is a significant change in couple’s lives, and it sure is challenging. I recently became part of the new parent community and could not help but notice the problem that the United States has no federally mandated policy to provide new parents with an adequate paid parental time off.
Most states offer 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. How could one possibly raise a child without 3 months of pay? According to Forbes “When it comes to paid leave for new parents, though, the United States is woefully behind the rest of the world. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), a United Nations agency, the only other country that doesn't guarantee paid leave for new mothers is Papua New Guinea, where agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for 85% of the population.” Countries in Europe offer paid parental leave anywhere between two months to over a year. Many countries offer a tiered leave for mothers: the first tier of time off paid at 100%, next set amount of weeks are paid at 80%, and so on. Some countries even allow mothers to take time off prior to birth.
Paid parental leave provides health benefits to the child and parents. It has been proven to reduce infant mortality, provide better care for the child, increased duration of breastfeeding, the newborn is less likely to become sick, and mothers who breastfeed are less likely to get breast and ovarian cancer and decrease in depression. Paternal time off allows fathers to assist new moms with helping around the house, and taking care of the newborn.
Countries in Europe have much better maternity leave policies in comparison to United States; and as our country is striving to become better and improve quality of life, parental leave should be one of them.
Please sign the petition to have the congress review FMLA leave and offer a six (6) month paid maternity leave and one (1) month paid paternity leave, paid at 100%.
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