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

  1. #31
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Unless YOU are a company, who gives a shit.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  2. #32
    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBDSP View Post
    If something like that isn't mandatory, then it becomes a benefit or perk that some companies offer while others do not.

    People in the upper echelon may get this perk while others do not. Depending on how you look at it, you might think that these people deserve it based on educational level, hard work, etc. to get to that position.

    Six weeks at best will get you back in functional shape and give you a chance to get your childcare arrangements sorted out. It's not much time to bond with your baby.

    As for whether a paid maternity leave as they offer in, say, Scandinavian countries, is good for society as well as individuals, you'd have to look at the data, and I can't be arsed.

    BUT in response to your post, Crumpet, I think countries that have paid leave do so not to be 'cushy' to the individual, but because they think it benefits society overall.
    We have maternity & paternity leave, we have unpaid leave to look after dependants (whether that be child or adult), we have all sorts of things, & you know what else we have? The longest working week in Europe with some of the lowest paid staff...

    This whole femanist, anti-maternal/child schtick is anti-femanist, because femanism was all about choice. Yeah, we get it that isn't your choice but it gets really boring when you beat the same drum for 15 yrs or however long you've been posting her for Crumpt.
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  3. #33
    Elite Member crumpet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Unless YOU are a company, who gives a shit.
    Actually, I don't care if private companies choose to offer all kids of great benefits. It probably attracts a higher caliber of worker and the companies can be selective about whom they hire. If I had a company I would have on site child care, a doggie day care, an on site wellness clinic, a gym, etc. It would be awesome. But it would be my choice and not something I'm forced to offer which makes a lot of difference to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Novice View Post
    We have maternity & paternity leave, we have unpaid leave to look after dependants (whether that be child or adult), we have all sorts of things, & you know what else we have? The longest working week in Europe with some of the lowest paid staff...

    This whole femanist, anti-maternal/child schtick is anti-femanist, because femanism was all about choice. Yeah, we get it that isn't your choice but it gets really boring when you beat the same drum for 15 yrs or however long you've been posting her for Crumpt.
    The first paragraph is confusing because it makes it seem like you think that overall the system isn't really great if you have longer work weeks and lower pay. maybe I misunderstood.

    Regarding the second statement......please give me a break. Most every poster on here sounds like a broken record when discussing certain topics. It's fairly easy to predict how Buttmunch will feel about the death penalty or kids who go off and commit murder or how Grimm will feel about any issue involving religion. Even if I disagree, I don't mind because that is them being consistent about who they are and it doesn't mean we don't agree on lots of other things,too. It's really pretty myopic to say I'm anti mom just because I don't believe that the federal government needs to finance everyone's family choices and just because I think too many people whine about the choices they've made. I wasn't delivered by a stork, I had a mom,too and I happen to think she is pretty awesome (and so are lots of other moms on here). Just because I'm not a mom doesn't mean I'm not allowed to make observations about what I see in my culture. Another thing: I cringe whenever I hear someone say feminism is supposed to be about women having choices. No, not really. It was supposed to be about women having the same social, legal, and educational opportunities as men and the same protections under the law......nothing more. Yes, having more choices is certainly a wondeful consequence of that, but now you have women complaining because of the complications that come from having too many choices. Feminism doesn't mean that woman=mother or that women should have more choices than men, it means that we shouldn't be penalized when we make the same choices as men (good or bad) and that the social or legal consequences for said choices should vary by gender. A lot of the inequality comes from the fact that women's roles expanded while mens' roles essentially stayed the same , so you end up with working wives and/or moms who come home and still do most everything else in the domestic sphere. In my opinion, women need to stop settling for husbands who will sit back while they do everything else, stop feeling guilty for being your own person even if you are married with kids, and reject all this societal bullshit that says you have to be 100% perfect at everything. It's absolutely fine to be a 'good enough' mom, employee, and wife, and it's fine to have help (paid or otherwise). Besides, while men technically can choose to stay home with their kids, I don't know many men who really feel like they ever have the choice as adults to 'work or stay home'. I've never met a man who has asked himself if he wants to work or be a housewife. At the same time, I've never met one who has had to wonder if he wants to have a career or a family either.
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  4. #34
    Elite Member Bellatheball's Avatar
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    Crumpet, cheers. I agree with you on much of what you've said.

    The US system isn't perfect. It works really well for the educated (who tend to have cushier benefits including being able to save up vacation/sick leave so they continue to be paid during leave) and for much of the middle class. I admit, it's not such a great deal for those in lower income jobs. I'd love to see us move to a system where moms get paid 12 weeks maternity leave.

    All that said, it's ridiculous to say you don't bond with your kids if you go back to work early. Frankly, it's insulting to those of us who are working moms. I actually *like* being with my kids which is an attitude some posters here don't seem to share about their own kids.

  5. #35
    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buttmunch View Post
    Paid maternity leave definitely benefits society. It works very well in Scandinavia. People go on leave for six months or a year (depending on how the parents split the time) and in that time someone takes your position, gets experience, sometimes becomes valuable to the company, even if they don't they have a year at a job and it helps them get other positions. Parents get time at home with the kid, the kid isn't schlepped off to childcare before it's even aware it's alive, parents can continue with their careers-both men and women...it's all good.
    I agree with you. (I always seem to lol)
    Six weeks is absolutely nothing. I always feel sorry for the babies put into full time day care as soon as they are born. But I can understand more now why people in the US do that, I didn't realise before the maternity leave was so poor/non existent.
    6 months to a year is a good amount of time IMO, it gives you time to enjoy and bond with the baby.

  6. #36
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellatheball View Post
    Crumpet, cheers. I agree with you on much of what you've said.

    The US system isn't perfect. It works really well for the educated (who tend to have cushier benefits including being able to save up vacation/sick leave so they continue to be paid during leave) and for much of the middle class. I admit, it's not such a great deal for those in lower income jobs. I'd love to see us move to a system where moms get paid 12 weeks maternity leave.

    All that said, it's ridiculous to say you don't bond with your kids if you go back to work early. Frankly, it's insulting to those of us who are working moms. I actually *like* being with my kids which is an attitude some posters here don't seem to share about their own kids.
    My mom had to put me in daycare at 6 weeks. That's all she was able to get time off for, and she was an engineer for Boeing. However, when I was 4, she became a stay-at-home mom. 40 years later we still have a great relationship and get together all the time.

    With my own kids, initially I had my daughter in daycare for the first year and a half. Then, my MIL was able to watch both my son and daughter while my wife and I worked. It has worked out great for us.

    I like being with my kids, too, Bella. For me, it is the most addictive, pleasurable experience I can possibly imagine. I managed to walk my daughter to school every day this week, which is something I rarely get to do (the timing just worked out).

  7. #37
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crumpet View Post
    Unless the temps are working for free, then the company is still paying you to be on leave and for someone else to do your job when and if you decide to come back. Also, I don't get all this 'bond with your baby' stuff. My Mom was working from home three days after she had me and went to work less than 2 weeks after that...I stayed with a family friend who was my day care provider. I guess I just don't see how my mother and I failed to bond and I certainly never thought the other lady was my mom. I guess more old school folks just raised their kids, did what they had to do, and didn't put so much energy intop constantly thinking about how haaaard everything is. From my experience most of them had relationships with their kids that are just as good as the ones that all these stay at home moms have with theirs. I think modern culture really tends to overpathologize every little thing.

    Y'all can go ahead and rip me up now, I'm going on vacation!!!!! See ya week after next.
    I'm not saying that there's something wrong with people doing what they need to do. I'm addressing the idiotic situation in the States. To make people go back to work six weeks after they have a bay and put that kid in childcare isn't for everyone and is not the optimal situation. Having had my kids in Europe I'm all onboard with extensive parental leave that allows you to spend the first year with your kid and still maintain your career.
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  8. #38
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Vacation? It better not be paid. Who's covering for you when you go? Vacation is a choice.

    You better be going unpaid and all your work better be waiting for you when you get back.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  9. #39
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Eh, I live in Europe. Five weeks paid vacation to start. Then it gets better. God bless Europe.
    '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."
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  10. #40
    Gold Member Baby Face's Avatar
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    I work for a large company. We have FMLA and everything. We can take up to 4.5 months leave however, the only amout that is paid is the amount of sick/vacation time you have saved up (vacation does not roll over from year to year). Short term leave is not allowed for maternity leave. When I had my son, I only took 6 weeks off of which 4 were unpaid. The side to this is we HAVE to take at least 6 weeks off (8 weeks if a c section) and have to have a doctor's note to get back into work but, they don't pay you necessarily. Just so everyone knows. My benes are much, much better than almost everyone I know. I know of noone who gets a truly "paid" maternity leave.

  11. #41
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Face View Post
    I work for a large company. We have FMLA and everything. We can take up to 4.5 months leave however, the only amout that is paid is the amount of sick/vacation time you have saved up (vacation does not roll over from year to year). Short term leave is not allowed for maternity leave. When I had my son, I only took 6 weeks off of which 4 were unpaid. The side to this is we HAVE to take at least 6 weeks off (8 weeks if a c section) and have to have a doctor's note to get back into work but, they don't pay you necessarily. Just so everyone knows. My benes are much, much better than almost everyone I know. I know of noone who gets a truly "paid" maternity leave.
    Here's what my wife did with my son - who was born in October a few years back. She took FMLA around her last week of the pregnancy. The FMLA for 2004 kicked in and took her all the way to the end of the year. Then, she took FMLA for the first 12 weeks of 2005.

    So, she was basically able to stay home for 6 whole months and get her job back. And nobody said boo. FMLA rocks!!!

  12. #42
    Gold Member Baby Face's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    Here's what my wife did with my son - who was born in October a few years back. She took FMLA around her last week of the pregnancy. The FMLA for 2004 kicked in and took her all the way to the end of the year. Then, she took FMLA for the first 12 weeks of 2005.

    So, she was basically able to stay home for 6 whole months and get her job back. And nobody said boo. FMLA rocks!!!
    In the same situation, I could have done this also but, I still would have only been paid for the 2 weeks of accrued sick/vacation pay that I had at the time. Most people know this and are able to save up their sick time and time the maternity leave around this and have the whole thing paid (at least for the first kid). I got pregnant about 3 months after starting my job. At the time, I was just thrilled that my employer would grant anything because I had him before I had even been with the company 1 year (2 days shy).

  13. #43
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    In Canada you get a year.
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  14. #44
    Elite Member burnt_toast's Avatar
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    I don't know anyone who has gotten paid maternity leave. I work for the state and we are eligible for FMLA, but have no short term disability options. So if I have a child I will only be able to use the sick/vacation time I have accrued.

    I really should look up more statistics, but I find it hard to believe that a paid maternity/paternity leave is really not good for society when EVERY industrialized nation but mine has it. I mean, it's possible they are all wrong and this somehow isn't good or doesn't work or makes no difference whatsoever, but I find it unlikely.

    Anyway, it seems to be like everything else in the U.S.:
    If you are smart and work hard and have incredibly good luck you will be fine.
    If you are smart and work hard and have incredibly bad luck your life will blow.
    If you are a lazy idiot with good luck you get a reality show and become a millionaire.
    If you are a lazy idiot with bad luck you die in a gutter.

    It's all about luck over here.

  15. #45
    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    I'd like to see more women grow a pair and demand that their husbands be family friendly instead of looking to the government to equalize all of these responsibilities... I don't think your boss needs to make up for the fact that you married a self centered asswipe who won't do his share of child care and housework when you both work. Quit being a martyr about it.
    This would seem to assume that only maternity leave is on the table. I think most posters here who are posting in favor of paid leave have been speaking of parental leave. This is what we have in Canada, and it can be taken exclusively by either parent or split between the two. So the argument that paid leave only reinforces gender norms doesn't really stand.

    Quote Originally Posted by crumpet View Post
    Unless the temps are working for free, then the company is still paying you to be on leave and for someone else to do your job when and if you decide to come back.
    The company doesn't necessarily have to pay anything. Some "bigger, better" companies here top up leave payments (their choice), but many don't, and the leave is covered under Employment Insurance to the tune of 50% of your salary. We all pay into EI out of every paycheque, by the way, so it's not "free" just as our health care isn't free. People contribute towards it, people get to benefit from it. It needn't put companies out at all. In fact, my husband's small company here got a reprieve when he took parental leave; the work had dried up and they would likely have had to close if they'd had to keep paying his salary. He took leave when our son was born, his company got to stay open for another year. One person received EI, rather than seven. Both his company and the government actually saved money!
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