Today is the 23rd anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act. This momentous piece of legislation that provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave has been used over 200 million times by Americans. But it has huge shortcomings. As Vicki Shabo, Vice President at the National Partnership for Women & Families points out, 40% of the U.S. workforce isn’t covered by the law and millions more can’t make use of it because they can’t afford to go without pay.
In the Washington Post today, I wrote about the kinds of false assumptions that would need to exist to explain the fact that the United States is the only developed economy in the world that does not have paid maternity leave.