U.S. maternity leave trails other countries, and going away may not mean 'out of the office'

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  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2013 12:21 p.m.

    ["The assumption might be that the employer is trying to squeeze work out, but I've found that the employee — especially a professional looking at advancement — is incredibly reluctant to give up control."]

    I've worked in places that do offer maternity/paternity leave on top of generous PTO/sick leave, but people still never use it because leaving during a crunch time is obviously not going to give you a good reputation, but leaving during downtime you miss out on being a part of the high level decisions.

    At the same time, no matter how good you are at your job, people are quick to forget about it. Somebody is going to have to fill in for you while your gone, and when you come back, they may be reluctant to give up everything and step back. Worse, if they've done a good, or even better, job, others might wonder who should really have the position.

    It takes a large amount of confidence, even arrogance, to be willing to take such an extended leave.

  • jrgl CEDAR CITY, UT
    Feb. 26, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    With higher than US average women working in Utah this has got to become a red button issue regardless of political affiliation. How is it possible for new parents to survive let alone nurture the future generation without greater support in parental leave policies to include paid leave for maternity. Women get the short end of the stick whether the issue is unpaid leave for new Mom's or the middle age sandwich generation struggling to care for elderly parents. It's no wonder the US birthrate is falling. Mom's are pressured to breast feed the infants exclusively, but how can that be possible with such short time away from work & the pressure of no pay on leave? I myself worked up to a day before delivery of my child and was expected back at work in six weeks without pay. Sure we had husband's income, but we are in a two income world. No, my income is not for frills, trips, cable TV & boats. My income helps pay a modest mortgage, utilities and life essentials like food.
    We need to follow the lead of other nations & demand more of business who pay CEO's richly.