Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Friday, February 16, 2018

Parental Leave

From the Nation:

It’s been a quarter of a century since America’s families got their first legal job protections covering time off to care for family medical needs and childbirth. But the kids born under those policies are all grown-up now, and their generation is demanding much more to deal with the caregiving needs of the millennial economy.

Since the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)—which provides workers up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave—was signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993, it’s become painfully clear that today’s workforce can’t sustain family needs without more comprehensive benefits. Facing a sink-or-swim economy rife with swelling health-care costs, workers need more than time at home to bond with a newborn, cope with a medical crisis, or recover from pregnancy; they need a steady income.

Working parents are therefore now waiting for the United States to join other modern countries and offer comprehensive paid family leave. States like California already provide workers with partial wage compensation through a dedicated payroll-based tax system for family leave, and even pro-business “family values” conservatives now promote some form of national subsidized paid-leave program—with the backing of the White House’s own Ivanka Trump.

Read more here.

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As someone with a brother who lives in the democratic socialist hellhole of Denmark, it's striking that more American are not up in arms over this. In short, American workers are getting ripped off. Compared to workers in most of Europe, Americans get paid less, work longer hours, in harsher conditions, with less benefits. It's unconscionable. There is simply no legitimate reason why American workers should not have the same benefits, e.g. PAID family leave, that workers get throughout the world. The idea that "it's too expensive" is simply poppycock. Somehow, US companies are able to operate in democratic socialist countries, like Denmark, and still make a profit. I have no doubt that if McDonald's was losing money in Denmark because of having to offer their employees paid family leave, McDonald's would pack up and move. Yet, somehow, they are able both make a profit AND provide crucial benefits. If they can do it in Denmark, there is no reason to think they couldn't do it in the US. In the end, it simply comes down to greed. US companies have a distain for the workers that actually make the money that lines the pockets of upper management and shareholders. Today, at-will-employees are no more that chattel, that can be disposed of at a whim. It's simply shameful. If you own a company and cannot pay your workers a living wage, with reasonable benefits, than you need to do something else. In the richest county in the world (history?) these basic dignities can/should be respected.

Posted by: Antifa Family Law | Feb 16, 2018 9:59:55 AM

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