Should the U.S. Guarantee Paid Maternity Leave? By Dan Atkerson on May 18, 2015

Did you know that the United States is one of only two countries that do not offer paid maternity leave for new mothers? (The other is Papua New Guinea.)

Television personality John Oliver gave his analysis of the U.S.’s lack of paid maternity leave on HBO’s Last Week Tonight, using Mother’s Day as the springboard for his argument.

Does the FMLA Guarantee Maternity Leave?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), signed into law in 1993, guarantees new mothers 12 weeks of unpaid leave as long as they are full-time employees in medium and large-sized companies. Freelancers, part-time workers and contract employees as well as employees of small companies do not even receive unpaid leave. More than 40 percent of private-sector employees are left in the dust when it comes to maternity leave.

According to studies by the National Library of Medicine and Yale University, mothers actually face significant workplace discrimination. One such study found that mothers face a roughly five percent wage penalty for each child they have, and another pointed out that mothers are rated as less competent and committed to paid work than non mothers by evaluators. That last bit could also imply gender discrimination, as fathers did not suffer the same drop in ratings compared to men without children.

If you believe that you have suffered unlawful pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, you should seek the services of an employment law attorney.

Atkerson LawDallas Employment Law Attorney


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Dan Atkerson

Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Dan A. Atkerson has been protecting the rights of North Texas employees for over nearly four decades. He is affiliated with several prestigious legal organizations, including: 

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Through aggressive, knowledgeable representation, he has helped clients all over the state reach significant verdicts and settlements. To schedule a consultation at our law firm, request an appointment online or call us at (214) 383-3606.

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