Time Off is Needed: An Argument in Favor of Paid Maternal Leave in the United States
Keywords: Family and Medical Leave Act, FMLA, maternity leave, working mothers, paid family leave,
AbstractThe U.S. is the only industrialized country that does not offer paid maternity leave. Instead, the federal government has instituted the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) whereby mothers who work at least 12 months in the same company and a minimum of 1,250 hours a year are eligible for up to six weeks of unpaid leave. The flaws concerning FMLA allows very few mothers to fully benefit from it, and as a result, research shows that new mothers report an increase in stress levels and dissatisfaction. Instead of this insufficient policy, having Paid Family Leave (PFL) would allow mothers to bond and properly care for their newborn without having the financial burden. Although PFL can have its cons, extensive research shows that this act can benefit the mother, the child, and the company. This paper analyzes the different aspects regarding FMLA and PFL and demonstrates the superiority of PFL.