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M: Maternity/Paternity Leave

Paid family leave combats poverty, gives children a healthy start, and lowers the wage gap between women and men by providing structural support to balance work and family.

Selena's Story

Selena's baby boy, Connor, was born six weeks early. As Connor was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care unit, Selena found herself alone in a hospital bed realizing that she was going to go home well before her baby. "There was no way we could afford for me to take off more than we planned,” recalls Selena. So after Selena had the baby on Thursday, she was released from the hospital Friday, and was back at her desk on Monday morning. “It was the hardest two and a half weeks of my life,” she says recalling the ache of being away from her newborn son.

Click here to watch a segment of the Motherhood Manifesto documentary to learn more about Selena's story and why we all need access to paid family and medical leave.


Know the Facts

  • Right now only 13 (!!!) percent of Americans have access to paid family leave through their employer and only 37% have personal medical leave provided through an employer.
  • Although the current Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows some employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave, it only covers about 60 percent of employees.
  • A quarter of all poverty spells in the United States are because of having a baby.
  • The U.S is one of the only countries in the world that doesn't offer paid leave to new mothers.
  • Paid family leave has been shown to reduce infant mortality by as much as 20% (and the U.S. ranks a low 37th of all countries in infant mortality).
  • Paid leave improves worker retention, which saves employers money through reduced turnover cost.


What You Can Do

MomsBlogging on Maternity & Paternity Leave

A Holiday Is Nice -- But What Fathers Really Need is Paid Leave

Posted June 19, 2015 by Jody Heymann

Co-authored by Aleta Sprague One day a year, we celebrate dads. Chances are, that's one day more than they had to celebrate becoming a father. At least that's the case in the U.S. - along with nearly 100 other countries around the world that don't provide any paid leave to new fathers. In recent years, the United [...]

Posted Under: paid family leave

13 Million Dads Benefit from Low-Income Tax Credits

Posted June 19, 2015 by Lecia Imbery

For Mother’s Day, the Coalition on Human Needs highlighted the 21 million moms who benefit from low-income tax credits. We didn’t want to leave out dads, so this week's post is about them. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 13 million fathers in working families benefit from two key tax credits for low-income workers [...]

Let's Make New York State Next!

Posted June 17, 2015 by Sili Recio

You shouldn’t have to get lucky to get paid family (maternity, paternity, and medical) leave in New York state but it sure feels like you do. That’s because right now only 12% of employees in the U.S. have access to paid family leave through their employer. But, good news! We can change this! We can [...]

Posted Under: paid family leave

#LeadOnLeave with US Secretary of Labor, Senior White House Advisor, Small Business Owner, MomsRising, and YOU!

Posted June 14, 2015 by Kristin

Watch! Because of people like you, the push for paid family/maternity/paternity leave has become a national conversation. And people are noticing. States, cities, and businesses across the country are taking action to expand paid leave to help more working families succeed. Because of you, paid family/maternity/paternity leave is no longer an 'if' question, but a 'when' question. U.S. Labor Secretary [...]

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