Jun 25 2014

Obama Strongly Endorses US Paid Maternity and Sick Leave

The White House, in conjunction with the Center for American Progress, held the first ever Working Families Summit on Monday in Washington DC.

In a speech peppered with personal anecdotes about his own upbringing and stories about how he and First Lady Michelle Obama struggled with raising their own children, President Obama addressed the myriad pressures American workers face when dealing with childcare, maternity leave and flexible working hours.

Although Obama mentioned that the United States is one of only a handful of countries which offers no paid maternity leave for workers, he offered few concrete solutions to address the problem.

However, he did sign a presidential memo authorizing Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to spend $25 million to help provide child care for people who enroll in job training programs, as well as allowing more federal workers to have access to flexible working hours.

And, the President also endorsed a bill proposed by Democratic Senator Robert Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania that would protect pregnant women from being discriminated against in the work place.

Republicans criticized the Summit as being an election year ploy for Democrats to bolster support among women and maintain their seats in Congress.

GUEST: Ellen Bravo, Executive Director of Family Values @ Work, a national network of city and state coalitions

Visit www.familyvaluesatwork.org for more information.

One response so far

One Response to “Obama Strongly Endorses US Paid Maternity and Sick Leave”

  1. Kevin H @ Growing Family Benefitson 27 Jun 2014 at 6:35 am

    A more precise statement would be that the U.S. is one of only a handful of countries without a federally mandated paid leave policy. Three states have paid paternity leave laws, and five states provide paid maternity leave via mandated short term disability.

    Paid maternity leave is available in all 50 states through the purchase of private short term disability when offered by employers, and paid for by employees. This option is almost always overlooked.