Like most of DC, I’m still reeling about what the next four years might mean for our District, country, and world – especially for our neighbors, friends, and family who are immigrants, people of color, Muslim, refugees, LGBTQ+, or live at the intersections of these identities. Right now, many of us are feeling overwhelmed. [...]
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 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
October is National Work and Family Month. Working Mother Magazine identified 100 businesses that take their obligations employees seriously, first and foremost with paid family leave. These businesses are dragging the country toward something approximating a civilized social safety net, which is awesome—unfortunately I don’t work for any of them. I’m one of the approximately [...]
I will never forget the first time my husband came home from his first deployment. I got my hair done, a pedicure, manicure, cleaned my house, made all of his favorite dishes, gassed up his Jeep, put on my cutest outfit, and headed out to the airport. We lived in Bellevue, Nebraska and the drive [...]
Things are certainly changing different this election season. While there is a lot that is deeply disturbing, and a lot I will not want to remember after 2016 is said and done, but one thing that is worth acknowledging is that the discussion moved forward for families, and that Paid Family and Medical Leave has [...]