paid family leave

Watch: This Could Revolutionize All Our Lives, Not Just Parents’

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New parents are obviously aware of the benefits of paid family leave, which is a hot-button topic in policy circles. Right there’s a patchwork system in pace–companies determine how much leave they’ll give parents, which means that tech company employees are happy, but non-traditional families at other workplaces are seriously screwed (for instance, there’s often less leave for adoption or non-biological parents). The Trump family leave plan continues this status quo, discriminating against anyone who is not a biological mom.

Advocates argue that paid family leave should extend beyond new parents to anyone who has to care for someone who is sick—whether it’s a kid, a parent or a sibling. This new ad from working family group 9 to 5, below, calls attention to the need for family leave that encompasses every kind of family.

But even biological mothers outside the white collar workplace face huge hurdles when it comes taking care of their own kids.

“I was back at Wal-Mart a week after I had my son,” says the woman in another powerful ad about family leave policies—talking about how the mega-corporation denied her time off even though her son was in the NICU. While the company gives moms on the corporate side an okay 12 weeks of leave, hourly employees don’t get the benefit of that policy. In fact, yesterday the news broke that Walmart is violating the law.

A report released Thursday by a workers’ advocacy group says Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, routinely refuses to accept doctors’ notes, penalizes workers who need to take care of a sick family member and otherwise punishes employees for lawful absences.

The report, based on a survey of more than 1,000 employees, accuses Walmart of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, among other worker-protection laws. The group argued in a lawsuit filed last month, and in an earlier complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, that Walmart discriminated against pregnant workers.”

The results of these violations, as the video below shows, can be devastating.

Only a comprehensive, national program can solve all these problems at once. It should be a Kveller motto, or maybe a national one: “We need paid leave and we needed it yesterday.”

Oh and by the way, there is a bill to do just that, but it can’t get past a Republican congress.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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