We’re the only industrialized nation that does this. We share this medal of honor with one other nation (still): Papua New Guinea.
So what do our new moms do when a baby is born? They patch things like disability, vacation time and sick days together, if they have them, so they can recover and maybe take a little time to bond with their new child.
“This is not how it’s supposed to work,” Oliver said. “Mothers shouldn’t have to stitch together time to recover from childbirth the same way that we plan four day weekends in Atlantic City.”
Sure, we have the Family and Medical Leave Act. But the stipulations to use it are overwhelming: must be with an organization of 50 or more employees. Must have worked there for a year. It’s unpaid.
One new mother Oliver had on the clip said she could only see taking a month off with her child. Another, who had a baby six weeks premature, gave birth on a Wednesday and had to go back to work on Monday so she could take time off when he came home from the hospital.
Oliver brought the fact that in 2002, California passed a plan providing six weeks of partially paid leave funded through a small payroll tax. It cost employers little to nothing, and more than 90 percent of the companies reported positive or neutral effects. Oliver compared it to having a hockey game on in the background of a bar. “It’s not hurting anyone, and a couple people are really into it.”
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