The U-S is one of the last remaining countries in the world without paid maternity leave... And now, a women's magazine says it's time to change the law.
When day care teacher and mother Yvonne Haley took maternity leave with her first son.. it took some planning.
"You're not getting that paycheck for a couple of weeks, so on top of giving birth and all of the expenses that come with that, you're concerned about the decrease in your income," SHE SAID.
The National Partnership for Women and Families says only about one fifth of working moms in the U.S. get paid maternity leave. Congress passed the Family Medical Leave Act in 1993... allowing men and women on the job for a year to take up to 12 weeks off for the birth of a child -- but it doesn't require paid leave. Smaller companies don't have to comply, and not all part-time workers benefit.
Australia is the second to last industrialized nation in the world to provide paid maternity leave... And many countries, including Britain, Brazil, France and the Netherlands pay for paternity leave too. Only the U.S. and 2 other countries don't mandate paid leave for new moms. Employment discrimination expert Jeannette Cox says Americans consider having children a private matter….and adds many view mandatory parental leave as too pricey.
Parental leave supporters cite research touting public benefits -- children who are healthier.. and parents who are more attached to the workforce..
Working Mother Magazine is campaigning to ensure paid parental leave for all of America's workers by 2015. It's pushing Congress to pass a new law, and asking men and women across the country to sign its online petition.
Ironically.. changing the trend.. could come down to men. Men of the millennial generation take more parental leave... And the growing number of stay at home dads could also factor in to a greater outcry for mandating paid leave to care for a new baby.
CLICK HERE to learn more about that online petition.