Saturday, February 02, 2008

NBC Today (weekend) on paid paternity leave

This morning, Saturday Feb. 2, 2008 the NBC Today show did a story about fathers getting more benefits in the workplace for paternity leave. One law firm offers associates with enough seniority up to six weeks paid paternity leave. Men have complained that companies have started to give mothers paid maternity leave, so father should have the same benefits.

The United States is one of the few advanced countries that does not require employers to offer paid parental leave. Here is a chart from Wikipedia.

The MSNBC site does not have a link to the story yet. Here is a similar link “Dads and Paternity Leave: Buying Time With Kids”, here. Another is a story by Teresa M. McAleavy in a Hampton Roads, VA paper, “Paid paternity leave catching on,” link here.(great photo there).

In April 2007 a financial planning enterprise, The Phoenix Companies, offered a paid paternity leave policy, here. The company will also offer associates adoption assistance.

Of course, when paid parental leave is required, the childless must do more work for the same pay, so it is not “equal.” But one could ask, what about paid leave for eldercare, which may be more like to fall on the shoulders of the childless? Libertarians favor allowing companies to set their own paid leave policies according to the best interests of their own stakeholders.

I wonder if the presidential candidates will be willing to debate this? It's very sensitive and it can easily drive away voters.

The text of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which mandates that employers grant unpaid leave in many circumstances, is here.

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