• Paid Parental Leave: What You Need to Know

    Paid Parental Leave: What You Need to Know

    Paid Parental Leave

    Have you taken time off from work for parenting? How much time? How did your employer feel about it? When compared with other industrialized nations, the United States’ mandated paid leave policy looks…kind of strict. But our laws and policies are changing, and that can mean a lot for working moms and dads. Our latest blog post investigates.

    In the US, 13% of the private sector workforce work for companies that offer paid parental leave. 60% of the US workforce is covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows employees of companies with more than 50 employees to take a protected, unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks. Even with this law in place, many women complain about being passed up for promotions or facing other discrimination for taking maternal leave.

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    A Changing Landscape

    Some argue that strict paid leave policies and laws that put the power in the hands of companies help the US maintain economic competitiveness on the international stage. Others argue these laws and policies are “anti-family.” But as more moms and dads demand parental leave, one thing is certain: policies are changing.

    With record numbers of women holding high-ranking positions in business, employers are beginning to listen. Recently, employers as diverse and Adobe and the US Navy have updated and expanded their leave policies. Often it’s the mix of vocal female employees within the company and external support from customers that brings about policy change.

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    Parental Leave: Not Just for Moms

    Men are getting into the fray, too. A string of court cases against employers show men vying for more paid time off to spend in a childrearing role and arguing that offering only women leave-time amounts to gender-based discrimination. So far the courts seem receptive to this argument, but it remains to be seen whether this issue will impact legislation at a national level.

    Netflix recently announced it would be offering up to a year of paid parental leave for parents of both genders. Will such a policy become standard in the US workforce? Only time and the courts will tell. Have you taken paid parental leave before? We want to hear about it. Check out our Cookie’s Kids Twitter page and tweet @ us!

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