John Oliver Asks Why No Paid Maternity Leave?
While everyone else was busy buying flowers, sending e-cards, and writing emotional Facebook posts in reverence of their mothers, John Oliver took the opportunity this Mother’s Day on Last Week Tonight to remind us of the United States’ terrible lack of legislation offering paid family leave in the wake of childbirth.
Current federal law offers only 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave, which is extremely limited. “You have to work for a company with 50 or more employees. You have to have been there for over a year. You have to be a full-time salaried employee,” says Claire Suddath from the Washington Journal.
“What that means is that 40 percent of workers are not covered by the federal law,” adds Oliver. “So if a worker with no paid leave goes into labor at work, she better hope it’s on her lunch hour and that her coworkers don’t mind if the break room gets a bit messy.”
Most legislation that offers new mothers (and fathers) paid time off also fail to get mandated due to lawmakers raising illegitimate concerns over the possibility that it would be hugely detrimental to big businesses. However, that’s not been the case in the few states that have made small strides towards paid maternity leave.
“You can’t go on and on about how much you love moms but fail to pass legislation that makes life easier for them.”
This is ridiculous! The U.S. is one of TWO countries that refuse to offer new mothers paid maternity leave – the other is Papau New Guinea!