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Nov 02, 2021
Paid Family Leave Policy: Where We Are
Sheryl Lawrence
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1 min. read

The centerpiece of President Biden's social safety net legislation - a 12-week paid family and medical leave program - was cut down to a 4-week paid family and medical leave policy in the infrastructure bill the United States legislature is working on passing. If not passed, this would leave the United States to be one of only six countries with no national paid leave. 


The global average paid maternity leave is 29 weeks and the global average paid paternity leave is 16 weeks. Until now, the United States' answer has been the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that guarantees 12 weeks of job-protected time off for both parents, however, it is unpaid. New parents are expected to care for their children without income for 12 weeks. For most, this is wildly unrealistic. 


The lack of paid leave options in the U.S. is a giant deterrent in increasing the number of women and achieving equity in the workplace.  We encourage the GrasshoppHer community to advocate for family rights by reaching out to your representatives or by joining advocacy groups. We've included a few helpful links below: