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U.S. Maternity Leave Benefits Are Still Dismal (Forbes)

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rollingrock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:23 PM
Original message
U.S. Maternity Leave Benefits Are Still Dismal (Forbes)
U.S. Maternity Leave Benefits Are Still Dismal

Heidi Brown, Forbes.com
05.04.09


Cindy Lobel had worked as an assistant professor of history at Lehman College in the Bronx for two years when she had her son Ben. Like many professional women, after giving birth, she got three months' leave--unpaid--from Lehman, which is part of the public City University of New York.

"I would have loved to stay home with him for a year, but there was no way we could afford it," says the Brooklyn mom, who's married to an online technology-news editor. Instead, she was able to stay home for her allotted 12 weeks by cobbling together a partially paid leave using the 20 sick days she had accrued at the college. Now, the professor is hoping she--and her son, now 8-months--don't get sick any time soon.

...And since the majority of women can't afford not to work for a full three months, they also tend to return to work sooner than the law dictates. Perhaps that's why in May 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 55% of first-time mothers were working six months after giving birth. In the early 1970s, only 25% were working 6 months after childbirth.


...To date, there are three states that offer paid-leave programs--California, New Jersey and Washington. The benefit plans are structured in a similar way: A small amount is deducted from the paycheck of nearly every working resident of the state. When a resident takes leave to care for a child or family member, a percentage of the person's wages is paid out as disability benefits. For California, the amount is 55%. In New Jersey, workers pay out 0.09% of their paycheck and can receive up to two-thirds of their weekly salary for six weeks. In Washington state, starting in October of this year, residents are entitled to up to $250 per week in disability payments for five weeks.


...Still, against the backdrop of the rest of the developed--and still developing--economies throughout the world, American women's maternity leave looks positively paltry.

www.forbes.com/2009/05/04/maternity-leave-laws-forbes-w...




-----------------------------------------------


U.S. Policies on Maternity Leave "Among the Worst"


By Tamara Schweitzer | Feb 16, 2007
Inc. Magazine

The United States is one of only five countries that does not provide or require employers to provide some form of paid maternity leave, placing it behind a majority of the world when it comes to instituting family-oriented job policies, according to a new study.

In a study from McGill University's Institute for Health and Social Policy, the United States, Lesotho, Liberia, Swaziland, and Papua New Guinea were the only countries out of 173 studied that didn't guarantee any paid leave for mothers. Among the 168 countries that do, 98 offer 14 or more weeks of paid leave.

Overall, the study's other major findings indicate that workplace policies in the United States for families -- such as paid sick days and support for breast-feeding -- are weaker than those in all high-income countries as well as many middle and low-income countries.

"More countries are providing the workplace protections that millions of Americans can only dream of," Jody Heymann, director of McGill's Institute for Health and Social Policy, who led study, said in a statement...

continued
www.inc.com/news/articles/200702/family.html








http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parental_leave
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. Where are the FAMILY VALUES voters on this???
:eyes:
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lukasahero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Since they don't think women (especially mothers) should be working,
they are just fine with these statistics.
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. good point
:thumbsup:
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ejpoeta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. yet if you don't work, you don't get any money in social security and therefore
where are you if something happens to your husband!!
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. They want welfare mothers working though...
...spending hours away from home each day doing jobs that don't pay enough to cover the child care costs.

So they're a bit inconsistent on this point.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:30 PM
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2. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Lucy Goosey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
5. Wow.
I really didn't know this about the US. (I'm Canadian.)

Are women at least allowed to keep their jobs - I mean, can they fire you for taking unpaid mat leave?

And can new moms at least apply for some sort of unemployment benefit or other social assistance?
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TheMightyFavog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
6. There are four nations in the world that do not require some form of paid maternity leave.
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 02:07 PM by TheMightyFavog
Papua New Gunea, Botswana, Liberia, and the United States.
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rollingrock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. A very exclusive club, indeed!
I call it the 4th World.
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TheMightyFavog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. You want to know the sad thing?
I'm pretty sure Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is going to see to it that that list gets a whole lot shorter.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
9. This is the flipside of skyrocketing home prices.
People who have families want to also have their own home, and since prices have risen so fast, Mom's job is a necessity.

It's a bargain with the devil in so many ways. People who have smaller families now, end up working non-stop, because they cannot afford to have Mom stay home with her own baby, and must schlepp the baby to day care/pre-school so Mom can get a paycheck to keep a roof over their heads while they sleep (the only time most people spend in those houses) :(

Employers have gotten used to the "cheaper" labor provided by women, but do not feel obligated to pay maternity leave because:

1..... they fear the backlash from non-procreating employees
2..... no laws make them pay for leave
3..... they can guilt Mom into coming back lest she "lose her place"
4..... they can get others to do "her work" while she's gone ( and without her pay)
5..... they can get away with it

I feel so sorry for new mothers who have to work. there is nothing better than napping off and on all day long with a new baby..getting up when you feel like it, and never having to even care how much daycare costs. I was very lucky to now have to work, and I cherish those years I was able to stay at home and actually raise my kids. There were days I hated it, and would have loved to get away from it all, but 99% of the time it was great..

the bad part was that as our friends bought bigger houses & newer cars, we did not..but the trade off was still on our side..we had regular meals..homecooked, and time to spend with the kids, even if our house & cars kind of sucked :)
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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
11. WE SUCK!!!!!
Seeing stats like this and hearing all of the garbage the RW spews daily, especially from all of the so-called "Family Values Voters", just makes me want to up and move to a more enlightened country. We were once looked up to as a country. Nowadays, I fear that we're laughed it instead- and not without just cause. :eyes:

And it's mostly just because too many of us let the RW "lord" over us here and obstruct and bury, if not reverse, progress towards a better society. :puke:
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