Episode 82: WTF Is Up With U.S. Maternity Leave?


Maternity LeaveThe United States is many things, but kind to new mothers and fathers it is most definitely NOT. The US is only one of two countries in the entire WORLD that does not require paid maternity leave. Adequate maternity leave is a big deal! It most likely leads to better economic development and lower infant mortality rates. Yet the United States has one of the worst maternity leave policies on the planet.

In this week’s show we break down what the current American system of maternity leave looks like, the law governing it (the Family Medical Leave Act, or FMLA), and how private companies and other countries approach maternity leave. This show may leave you with a bit of concern about having a child in these United States, as you will have to navigate our country’s “mosaic of shitty options” when evaluating your maternity leave situation.

Below are some of the articles and charts that we used for our research for this week’s episode.

United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993

10 things you need to know about maternity leave in the U.S. from 2015

Kaiser Family Foundation/New York Times/CBS News non-Employed Poll, 2014

National Conference of State Legislatures State Family and Medical Leave Laws

Bloomberg: Can the U.S. Ever Fix Its Messed-Up Maternity Leave System?

National Partnership for Women and Families

The Street.com


Washington Post

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

Institute for Women’s Policy Research

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