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Poll: Should the U.S. Have Paid Maternity Leave?

screen grab from Youtube video.
screen grab from Youtube video.
By Brian Slupski

President Obama said the U.S. should offer paid maternity leave to new mothers.

"Work gives us a sense of place and dignity as well as income and it is critically important," Obama said at the White House Summit on Working Families. "But family is also the bedrock of our lives and we don't want a society in which folks are having to make a choice between those two things."

The National Post reported that Obama pointed out that nearly every other industrialized country has paid maternity leave. For example, French women receive 16 weeks paid leave and that increases to 26 weeks for a third child.

Under the 1993 Family Medical Leave Act most U.S. workers can receive 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family or medical reasons, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

"Many women can't even get a paid day off to give birth – now that's a pretty low bar," U.S. News and World Report quoted Obama. "That, we should be able to take care of."

U.S. News and World Report wrote that Obama praised California, Rhode Island and New Jersey for creating a state benefit. Although the president has not proposed a similar national program, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn. has pending legislation that would set up a government fund through Social Security that would be paid for by contributions from employees and employers.

DeLauro said the 0.2 percent tax on wages would come to about 2 cents of every $10.

Let us know what you think: Is this an issue government should tackle? Should we pay for such a benefit through a payroll tax as DeLauro suggests or should we simply mandate companies to offer the benefit? What do you think?

art doyle June 30, 2014 at 06:56 AM
Susan, you make a point about CA that is slightly inaccurate. CA is broke. (and broken) The feds dump enough money into CA that you cannot attribute their social costs to the state. It makes a better case for the folly of excessive social programs than that of poster child.
Daniel S. June 30, 2014 at 08:57 AM
Well if women get paid leave, so too should men I mean the significant other; after all, it is about equality right? The significant other needs to be there to take care of the new caregiver. I mean the Mother might not even be a mother . . .
oldfed July 08, 2014 at 10:20 PM
First, those of us now on SSA paid for other peoples benefits for the last 30-40 years. Now it's OUR TURN, SO GET OVER IT. Second, it cost's about 10-15$/month for a woman's birth control pills, so why should we pay for it? If you're to stupid to take (1) pill/day, you deserve what you get. Grow up, and take responsibility for your gender.
Alanna B. July 08, 2014 at 10:31 PM
Many women cannot afford to take time off from work; their income is needed. So unless you want to drastically reduce the American population, some sort of paid leave seems necessary these days.
steve forte July 09, 2014 at 05:33 PM
Im fine with a smaller population.

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