- In the U.S., where paid maternity leave is not a law on the books, nearly a quarter of employed mothers return to work within two weeks of giving birth, according to the Washington Post.
- The reason for this? Only about 13% of workers in the U.S. have access to any paid leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And 40% of U.S. households with children under 18 “rely heavily” on a mother’s income.
- Some mothers fall through the cracks of the Family Medical Leave Act because they either a) haven’t worked at their company for more than a year or b) work somewhere with under 50 employees.
According to data excavated by In These Times, about 23% of women who left work to care for an infant took less than two weeks off. Some of these women may still be recovering from C-sections or have a premature baby that is still in the hospital, says the Post.
This story from the Post is the latest in a string of Post stories on parents trying to balance work and kids, a set that includes this story on how the cost of childcare is shaping parents’ careers, and this story on how college campuses could cut costs for a quarter of their undergrads by offering better daycare.
Parental leave is an issue that continues to find attention in the news, and a challenge that HR professionals need to pay attention to amongst their own ranks. Watching for compliance with FMLA is particularly important right now.