The fight for paid family leave in America

One in 4 women go back to work within 10 days of giving birth. Only one other country on earth has this problem. Why is it so difficult for the U.S. to fund paid family leave?

The U.S. is the only industrialized country that does not federally mandate paid parental leave, but some large companies offer such benefits

What does the United States and Papua New Guinea have in common? They are the only nations that don’t offer paid leave for new parents. The U.S. only guarantees workers 12 weeks of unpaid leave under certain conditions — thanks to a law passed 26 years ago. Nancy Glynn didn’t have paid leave when her first son was born premature in 2012. Nancy’s second son passed away shortly after he was born.

Fighting for so long, not knowing if it would finally happen

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state that 1 in 4 American women go back to work within 10 days of giving birth. The U.S. Department of Labor statistics only 17% of workers have access to paid family leave. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families only 8 states which consists of New York State, Rhode Island, California, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oregon and Washington, D.C., have adopted paid leave laws.

For so many Americans the opportunity to take paid leave doesn’t even exist felt morally wrong

New fathers are also calling for more time to bond with their newborns. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, husband of Serena Williams, and a fierce "dadvocate," spoke on the issue on MSNBC. There is a wide consensus in favor of paid leave. Based on stats from the Pew Research 82% of Americans think new mothers should receive paid leave. Politicians even agree on the matter. Even the president favors it. Republicans like Marco Rubio also support a change. Several proposals have been introduced, like the Family Act. Congress can't agree on how to fund universal paid leave, but in 2019, a bipartisan agreement was reached to provide 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all federal employees.