Better Leave Policy for Moms

Bloomberg View: “The U.S. is the only major industrialized country not to guarantee paid parental leave nationwide. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act passed in 1993 allows workers as much as 12 weeks of leave without losing their jobs or benefits, but it doesn’t protect wages.

California was the first state to institute a program filling the gap. The state has long allowed women to receive temporary disability insurance payments in the four weeks leading up to their due dates and in the six weeks or more after giving birth. Since 2004, the state’s Paid Family Leave program has enabled both parents to take off an additional six weeks and be paid 55 percent of their usual wages, up to a cap of $1,011 a week in 2012…

President Barack Obama has sought a grant program to help states experiment with paid leave, but Congress didn’t approve his requests for $50 million in 2011 and $23 million in 2012. His 2013 budget seeks just $5 million.

That is a worthy investment to make in the millions of parents who lack the resources of someone as successful as Mayer, yet would nevertheless like to combine parenthood with a fruitful career.”