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Providing parental leave for dads could reduce discrimination

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2019 | Workplace Discrimination |

Washington D.C. is one of the best places to live for workers who may need paid family leave. Most states in America have no provisions for paid family leave, especially where men are concerned. According to Forbes, out of 41 developed countries all around the world, America is the only one that does not provide paid parental leave.

What the government does make provisions for is unpaid leave up to 12 weeks. Mothers typically need this time to heal and adjust to their new roles. However, many women cannot afford to take this time off; some are back to work within a matter of days. Not all mothers qualify for FMLA either. Companies with less than 50 employees may be under no obligation to provide this.

Focusing parental leave on mothers also puts women in an unfavorable position. While women do need leave after birth more than men, for physical as well as psychological reasons, men deserve to spend more time with their children too. When this time off is paid for, it allows both parents to share parental duties, which helps to make the transition easier for new mothers.

It may also help to reduce the hiring biases many managers have against women of childbearing age. After all, if the expectation is that both men and women will need time off after a new addition to the family, it may become less of a stigma attached specifically to women. This may help women to grow beyond a meagre 6.4% of Fortune 500 CEO positions.

In 2017, CNN speculated over whether or not paid family leave could become a reality in the near future for Americans. This followed a speech by the president where he endorsed paid family leave for both mothers and fathers, eliminating the focus on just maternity leave. However, after more than two years of patiently waiting, many now wonder if the FAMILY Act will truly come to fruition at all.

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