Paid Maternity Leave Still On The Wishlist For Many U.S. Mothers

Source: Heidi Shierholz and Emily Garr, Economic Policy Institute, Snapshot, May 7, 2008

This Mother’s Day, we reflect on the critical but often overlooked issue of maternity leave. In a selection of 19 countries with comparable per capita income, the United States provides the fewest maternity leave benefits in both length of leave and paid time off (see chart). This is considered separate from any disability insurance for which one may qualify. In fact, the United States falls two weeks short of the International Labor Organization’s basic minimum standard of at least 14 weeks general leave. It is also the only country not to guarantee some amount of leave with income.

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