Many women in the U.S. still do not receive paid time off for maternity leave. Unless you work for a company that voluntarily offers it or live in one of the three states that requires it, paid maternity leave does not exist. The Family and Medical Leave Act grants 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year; however, this law only applies to full-time employees at companies larger than 50 employees. This means that only about half of Americans are covered by the FMLA.
Paid leave is another issue. Only 12% of Americans have access to paid leave according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as outlined in Bloomberg.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) in 2013 introduced the Family Act, which would make employers offer new parents three month paid leave at 66% salary; however, the bill has been stalled. The current generation graduating from college does not experience the pay gap older generations have experienced. The discrepancy grows as they get older and do not advance at the same pace as their male counterparts. And, this seems to happen as women start to have children.
According to the U.N., the U.S. and Papua New Guinea are the only two countries in the world that don't have some form of legally mandated partially paid time off. If you or anyone you know feels you have been discriminated against due to pregnancy or not being allowed to take your full maternity leave, please contact us today.