As of 2019, these are the only places in the United States that have, or are about to implement, paid family leave programs: Let’s take a look at what kinds of policy got us here today, and what the current impacts of minimal maternity leave are on health and economics. Facebook, for instance, offers equal time off for all parents, and a $4,000 bonus for baby care. This is two more weeks than U.S. private companies offer on average. But you’re also a working woman and now you have questions about maternity leave. Congrats! FMLA only covers 59% of US workers. Basically, like most moms of young children, I was looking for flexibility but not at the expense of losing income. Unfortunately, the only federal law guaranteeing maternity leave in the U.S. is unpaid — and it only applies to some employees. In March, telecommunications company Vodafone announced its 30 companies around the world would have to provide 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, and enact a policy that women can work 30 hours a week for full-time salary for six months after that. As a result, this can lead to diminished material resources available for child-rearing and nutrition. Research shows that women who have paid maternity leave have a higher chance of returning to work. But, it is widely documented that as women move through the workforce, get married, and have children, the gap widens. Rhode Island pays four weeks at 60%. As I prepared to give birth to my first child in 2017, I remember sitting in my office reading through a thick packet of papers my Human Resources department had given me when they found out I was pregnant. When women have the option of maternity leave, they are more likely to stay in the workforce long term, which contributes to economic growth for the country, overall. None of the changes companies are making are exactly lush or comforting, or even comparable to other countries' national policies, and only federal and/or state laws for paid maternity leave will help all Americans. We also lived in Massachusetts, a state that was ahead of the curve and leading the way on many progressive policies. The capstone of parental leave policy for the United States is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that was passed by President Bill Clinton in 1993. I find myself now, three years after my first child was born, as a full-time stay at home mom (SAHM) and writer. As I started my motherhood journey, I took the time to learn more about what options families have for parental leave in the United States (not much, unfortunately). It’s treated as a form of benefit, so the duration and conditions of maternity leave vary from business to business, and state to state. TechRepublic Premium: The best IT policies, templates, and tools, for today and tomorrow. Wyoming (WY) is a state where the FMLA has a very strong presence and is followed strictly by the inhabitants of the state.. Given that we share a common history, love the same pop culture and enjoy a special relationship, you’d be forgiven for thinking that British and American workers would have a great deal in common. Or the decision is left to companies and organizations to make for themselves. Roughly half of new moms take at least five weeks of leave, while 25% take nine weeks or longer to stay home … She still has to contend with lower wages if she takes time off. Economists have found that when people have the option of paid leave, they take it.

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