You can’t leave this stuff up to CEOs.
New mothers in the United States are often forced to go back to work just a few weeks after having babies. That happens because our federal government, unlike that of any other country in the developed world, offers no provision for paid maternity leave.
But no worries, everyone! Carly Fiorina has a solution. If the former Hewlett-Packard CEO is elected president, she’ll simply fix our economy, making it “so strong that employers are forced to compete for workers by offering better salaries, better leave policies, more time off, and good benefits,” she wrote on Thursday in a blog post for The Huffington Post.
This is a laughable and dangerous way to think about paid leave. One that’s sure to fail women in the United States, particularly those who aren’t lucky enough to work professional jobs at companies enlightened or profitable or large enough to offer paid maternity leave.
We’ve left paid leave up to businesses for too long, and what have they done? Right now only12 percent of employees at privately owned companies have access to paid leave, according to the Department of Labor.
Allowing this to keep happening would do more harm to the economy than Fiorina seems to understand. And paying for federal mandated leave is far cheaper than she seems to realize — even though her home state of California has been pulling it off for more than a decade.
But paid leave isn’t simply a matter of economics; it’s a public health issue that we all have an interest in.
Full story: Huffington Post »