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Paternity Leave?

December 1, 2015
A Recent article in GQ magazine brought the topic of paid paternity leave to the forefront of today's political venue.
With all the talk about equal wages, it would only follow suit that equal FMLA benefits should ensue for a very integral part of the family. DAD

Paid leave was a hot topic in the first Democratic debate, with Senator Bernie Sanders calling the U.S.’s nonexistent federal paid-leave policy an “international embarrassment” and Hillary Clinton recalling being a working mom with a sick baby. “I know what it is like,” she said. “And I think we need to recognize the incredible challenges that so many parents have, particularly working moms.” 

This is great—except they missed the whole other half of the parenting dyad: the dads.

"According to Brad Harrington, Ph.D., the executive director of the Boston College Center for Work and Family and a leading expert on fatherhood, the cultural shift of dads wanting to be more involved—including taking time off to be with their families—has gained momentum over the past five years, which is also when the oldest millennials entered their 30s. Roughly 80 percent of today’s new dads were raised in the 1980s and ’90s, a time when the number of working women grew to more than 57 percent of the female population, making a two-income household the norm. In college, these same men were (and are) outpaced by women, who earn more bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. By the time they are ready to have a family, “these guys fully expect that their wives are going to have jobs, that they will probably work full-time, and may not be able to take off for long periods of time,” Harrington says. The result is a groundswell of men fighting for their right to parental-leave policies.

Unfortunately, they’re in for a long slog. New dads are facing outdated social stigmas, judgment from older bosses and CEOs, and arguments from Republican lawmakers that paid leave will hurt small businesses. Sure, there are companies like Facebook and Netflix offering generous paid leave to fathers—17 weeks and up to one year, respectively—but this is hardly the norm in the U.S. As it stands, the Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees only 12 weeks of unpaid leave for eligible workers, making the United States the only industrialized nation without paid maternity leave, and trailing behind the 70 countries that offer paid leave to fathers. Also defeating: Only 13 percent of men in the U.S. who take leave receive pay, and seven out of ten new dads take ten days of leave or less, according to the Department of Labor. The whole “paid” part is kind of a big deal for any successful plan forward; when companies do offer paid time off, most guys will take the maximum number of days offered, says Harrington. But first, paid leave has to be an actual, real-life option, and new dads are pushing for just that."

Excerpts above taken from GQ article : read full article here

Food for thought.........

Heather Knott, RN-IBCLC

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