Mandatory 12 Week Unpaid Maternity Leave

1204 Words Nov 30th, 2016 5 Pages
“Separating a mom from her baby, because she does not have sufficient income to stay home, is NOT a family value, it is the opposite. That is why I will fight for 12 weeks of paid family leave.” –Sen. Bernie Sanders. In the national primaries of 2016, Senator Bernie Sanders realized the magnitude of the issue this country is facing regarding not having a paid maternity leave. Currently, the United States has something called FMLA, also known as the Family and Medical Leave Act. This act allows 12 work weeks per year of leave for any medical need in the family including maternity leave. While it is great that the United States has FMLA (which did not come into effect until 1993) FMLA does not require the company to pay this individual while they are on leave. As a highly developed country and the only developed country out of 41 OECD countries that does not provide paid maternity leave, the United States should require businesses to provide a mandatory 12 week paid leave; unpaid maternity leave has been shown to effect the health of the mother and infant, and also has an impact on businesses as well. The United States is a highly developed country, and “the only country among 41 nations that does not mandate any paid leave for new parents, per data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The smallest amount of paid leave required in any of the other 40 nations is about two months” (Livingston, Among 41 Nations). A suggestion of why…
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