Politics

Politics

Once Again, the U.S. Has Failed Families on Paid Leave

It’s an often-touted statistic, but one worth remembering: The U.S. is one of the only developed countries that does not offer any federal paid family or sick leave benefit.

10/28/2021 8:17:00 PM

One of the most jarring omissions from President Biden's proposed economic and environmental bill, as it currently stands, is the exclusion of the $500 billion federal paid family and medical leave benefit.

It’s an often-touted statistic, but one worth remembering: The U.S. is one of the only developed countries that does not offer any federal paid family or sick leave benefit.

It’s an often-touted statistic, but one worth remembering: The U.S. is one of theonly developed countriesthat does not offer any federal paid family or sick leave benefit to new parents. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 allows workers to take 12 weeks off without losing their jobs to recover from serious illness or to care for newborns or family members with serious health conditions, but—crucially—it does not guarantee pay, forcing many Americans to face an untenable choice between earning a living and taking the time they desperately need to care for their families.

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While many private employers (and six U.S. states and Washington D.C.) offer paid family leave, these initiatives still leave out the majority of American workers, and perhaps the most gutting part of seeing paid family leave excluded from the Biden administration’s bill is the total lack of surprise it engenders. After all, activists have been lobbying for paid family leave in the U.S. since at least

1919, when the newly formed International Labor Organization adopted the Maternity Protection Convention of 1919, calling for 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, free medical care during and after pregnancy, job guarantees upon return to work, and periodic breaks to nurse infant children. headtopics.com

Read more: Vogue Magazine »

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