You don’t need to necessarily be an American mother to know that our maternity leave is nonexistent. We’re sadly notorious for it, with countries like Italy, Sweden, and Denmark leaving us in the dust with double digit paid parental leaves for both parents. The United States does offer non-paid leave, but the parameters are very specific and consequently, leave out a huge chunk of our citizens. Lisa Wade reports:
The U.S. does guarantee that new parents receive 12 weeks of non-paid leave, but only for parents who work in companies that employ 50 workers or more and who have worked there at least 12 months and accrued 1,250 hours or more in that time. These rules translate to about 1/2 of women. The other half are guaranteed nothing.
She points out that although the United States is clearly a developed country, we offer no guaranteed time off to rear a child, which for a nation that constantly engages in “family values” rhetoric, strikes me as pretty hypocritical. So while you’re shaking your fists at mothers in the United Kingdom and Canada for their multi-week mat leaves, let us not forget the even bigger fish on the other side of the pond.