Just so it’s clear:
In the USA, according to the Family and Medical Leave Act, you can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave. You must work for a company that has 50 or more employees and you cannot be in the 10 percent compensation bracket. You also must work 25 hours per-week at that job. Paid maternity leave is sometimes offered by companies and usually lasts 6 weeks. So knowing what the policy is at your company, and how many people your company employs is really important.
Zhabeego: “Oh, and by the way, what about all those people who don’t have kids? They just get to pay for others to take their baby vacations year after year? They get to take up all the slack at work AND finance it. Yeah, that’s fair.”
What are you talking about people paying for others taking “baby vacations”? I was under the impression that the company pays for the maternity leave, not the government. So unless you are talking about individuals picking up slack while someone is away, I’m very confused. Usually, companies hire temps to work that position as well. In order to take maternity leave, you also must put in your notice at least 30 days in advance which is more than enough time for a company to make accomodations. Unless you live in California, New Jersey, or Washington, there is no government required-by-law paid parental leave. So, you shouldn’t be paying for it out of your tax dollars. If your specific company is over loading you with work because someone took parental leave, that is on your company, not the government or the practice itself.
Having a child, or adopting one (since that hasn’t been brought up) is a huge adjustment for families. Some women bounce right back, others take a bit more time. Some women want to solely breast feed (no pumping) and others are fine with formula/pumping. Some moms are totally okay with their infant being in daycare, while other moms aren’t. Regardless, there is an adjustment period. That’s okay. After the 12 weeks is up, if they need more time, they should absolutely save up for it. There, I agree with you. But your rampage otherwise has my head spinning.
Viewing the addition of a child to a family as a “baby vacation” leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. What are women to do? Never have children? It’s not about special consideration, entitlement, or wanting “more more more”. It’s about needing time to adjust. 3 months without pay for many is impossible. Are families that reside in the higher tax brackets the only ones that are supposed to have families? What about an accidental pregnancy? Should all of those families abort because they cannot afford to take time off of work to have a baby? Having a child isn’t necessarily always a “vacation” or a cool/hip lifestyle choice.
So the waitress that gets pregnant and loses her job because her company has under 50 employees and she works part-time, that’s okay?
Maybe when affordable child care is easier to access and school systems work on the same schedule as normal jobs, we can talk a little bit more. But it seems to me that your elitist way of thinking is entirely selfish and inane. You do realize that you pay for social security, wic, disability,etc. ? Should people begin saving in case they were to become disabled? Isn’t it a choice to retire? One could argue.
As far as stork parking goes, I’m not sure if you’ve ever been pregnant, but it’s an awesome feeling to get a good parking spot when you’re swollen and uncomfortable and your child is jumping on your bladder and feels like they are going to fall out of you. Plus, the only stork parking I’ve ever seen has been at a babies-r-us. Do you frequent there often? I guess the “families with children” parking really inconviences you as well? Maybe the handicap parking?
I implore you to gain some compassion for those that aren’t all cookie-cutter upper class families. If your personal paycheck is being affected by parental leave, I would suggest switching companies.
By the way, other countries who do actually pay for maternity leave (and SHOCKER have paid paternity leave) pay WAY more than our “exorbitant” taxes.