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Thread: U.S. Only Industrialized Nation With No Paid Leave For New Parents

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Default U.S. Only Industrialized Nation With No Paid Leave For New Parents

    U.S. Only Industrialized Nation With No Paid Leave For New Parents

    Categories: Culture, Foreign News

    12:18 pm
    June 17, 2010



    by Jennifer Ludden


    The U.S. is now the one and only industrialized nation that doesn't afford parents of newborns any paid leave.
    Australia, which used to keep us company in that category, just passed a law that guarantees 18 weeks of leave at the federal minimum wage. It will go into effect next January, and it is available to "mums" and dads.
    The U.S. isn't alone. According to the International Labour Organization, there is no paid parental leave in Lesotho, Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland.
    In 1993, the U.S. did mandate 12 weeks of unpaid family leave, which can be used by new parents, though it leaves much of the work-force uncovered.
    Women's rights groups argue that lack of paid leave can often throw new parents into poverty, or lead many women to quit their jobs. But business groups have long fought any kind of paid leave. They contend the burden on business could lead to lost jobs.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I've always admired Swaziland's ability to stay neutral during those pesky world wars.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Thank god I had the heathens in Europe. I can't imagine the choice I would have had to make had I been living in the States at the time.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    This is an embarassment.

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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Yup....and it SUCKS.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Well, the States is the only western country that hasn't had universal health care (although we should remember that we Yanks bankrolled the NHS in the UK after WWII. Go figure). The States is a wonderful place but is so behind on many basic issues, such as parental leave, health care, capital punishment, separation of church and state (PLEASE start taxing churches!). Socially speaking the States is much more in line with non-first world countries, which is sad and a complete embarrassment.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    Every job I ever had offered short term disability which was used for maternity leave. Granted, only six weeks of pay, but not nothing. And I got considerably more than minimum wage.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I do not know of a single person that did not get 6 weeks paid leave, and longer if the doctor thought that was warranted. This is totally unfair. Most companies offer paid maternity leave. In fact, my company HIRED pregnant women (I personally knew 2) and they got paid leave,too. This makes it sound like we are a heartless nation. This may be true of small businesses that can't afford it, but basically THIS IS NOT FACTUAL. Many more women get paid leave than do not. OH,YES: my company also gave the same 6 weeeks to adoptive parents. So there.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    I agree McJag. The facts as presented are not the whole story. Every woman I know got paid leave.

    This is part of why Americans resist "socialized" programs. Because the facts of our current system are misrepresented. Many of us (I'd say most of the people I know) don't feel half as deprived as the media tells us we're supposed to. It feels manipulative.

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CornFlakegrl View Post
    I agree McJag. The facts as presented are not the whole story. Every woman I know got paid leave.
    If your company has less than 50 employees, you don't have to comply with FMLA. And a lot of companies have less than 50 employees. Which means that a lot of women (just talking about maternity leave in this instance), don't even get unpaid leave, much less paid leave.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    If your company has less than 50 employees, you don't have to comply with FMLA. And a lot of companies have less than 50 employees. Which means that a lot of women (just talking about maternity leave in this instance), don't even get unpaid leave, much less paid leave.
    Have you ever know someone in that position?
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member crumpet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CornFlakegrl View Post
    I agree McJag. The facts as presented are not the whole story. Every woman I know got paid leave.

    This is part of why Americans resist "socialized" programs. Because the facts of our current system are misrepresented. Many of us (I'd say most of the people I know) don't feel half as deprived as the media tells us we're supposed to. It feels manipulative.
    That and a lot of us are sick and damned tired of people claiming to have 'rights' to things just for fucking being born alive. You may wish to argue that 'free' healthcare a year of being paid not to work after you have a kid is a social good that benefits many people but that hardly makes it a 'right'. Show me where in the constitution it says either of these things are a right. The right to pursue happiness doesn't include the right to be provided with everything you want so your life can be cushier while you do. People are so fucking entitled and frankly, I really believe that the more you just give people everything the less they are eventually able to do for themselves. It's just a natural consequence, like having modern transportation and appliances and less physically demanding jobs have had the unintended side effect of creating a lot of out of shape, overweight people. Having calculators and computerized cash registers for so long has had the unintended consequences of creating a whole generation of people who don't know how to count back your change....God help you if the register is out of order and no one has a calculator.

    I realize that I'm in the minority around here on this issue and I really don't mind. But I refuse to jump on the OMG! The government should take care of me from the cradle to the grave (but still stay the fuck out of my business while they're doing it). Why are free healthcare and paid parental leave a right (outside of using your employer short term disability benefits or the Family Leave Act)? People need all kinds of things to survive and even the basics like food, clothing, and shelter aren't provided by the government unless you qualify based on really low income. Why do you have to pay for groceries when you go to the store? Why do you have to pay your rent or mortgage every month? Why should I have to pay to put gas in my car so I can drive to work and earn a taxable income? You NEED food and a place to live more than you need free doctor visits when you get sick but everyone has to pay for those things themselves.

    I'm not expecting to change anyone's mind, I just wanted to say my piece.
    Only the good die young.........................
    bitches like me live forever!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    If your company has less than 50 employees, you don't have to comply with FMLA. And a lot of companies have less than 50 employees. Which means that a lot of women (just talking about maternity leave in this instance), don't even get unpaid leave, much less paid leave.
    I realize that but not being required to follow FMLA doesn't equal not offering short term disability insurance.

    I realize it does happen. Service industry types like waitresses rarely get benefits and most restaurants fall under the small business heading.

    I'm just saying that implying no universal benefit means we all go hungry/broke/homeless when we have our babies is not accurate.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJag View Post
    I do not know of a single person that did not get 6 weeks paid leave, and longer if the doctor thought that was warranted. This is totally unfair. Most companies offer paid maternity leave. In fact, my company HIRED pregnant women (I personally knew 2) and they got paid leave,too. This makes it sound like we are a heartless nation. This may be true of small businesses that can't afford it, but basically THIS IS NOT FACTUAL. Many more women get paid leave than do not. OH,YES: my company also gave the same 6 weeeks to adoptive parents. So there.
    Six weeks? Woohoo! Call out the party band! Are you people kidding me? Six weeks is what it takes to recover from birth. After that you have a baby to deal with. I had over a year leave and that was fantastic but even then didn't feel like enough. Hell, the repugs are yammering on constantly about family values yet block any and all family legislation. If there is ever to be parity between the sexes in the job market, and in life in general, then there needs to be leave for a reasonable amount of time without penalty to your job. And considering that most need two incomes to survive then damn right there should be proper parental leave (NOT maternity leave) that allows families to have children without losing jobs or their homes or whatever. In addition, there needs to be affordable childcare, subsidized by the government, so that when you do go back to work you know your kids are taken care of. Many countries do this already and it's worked out fine. The States seems to have some odd bug up it's arse about this. It's stupid.

    And don't even get me started on the service industry, the fastest growing industry in America. They are fucked each and every way they go, via taxes, leave, sickness, everything.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Butt! If you think most emplyees are going to pick up the slack for a whole year, you are bonkers! I would have hated them myself! Companies would quit hiring woman under 50. Some of the best brains would be jobless. Think-a woman with 4 kids would take 4 years out of her career. A lot of women were happy to get back to work just to rest! That is never going to work here, not if we want to keep up with men.

    Butt! Put down that wine right now! You are going to be sick tomorrow!

    Crumpet! You should go smoke a cigarette after that one!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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