How The U.S. Compares To The Rest Of The World In Paid Family Leave

Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 4:01pm
Updated: Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 8:19am
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President Donald Trump's daughter and advisor, Ivanka Trump, has brought the issue of paid family leave back into the spotlight.

Last summer, she partnered with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to push a bill that would allow parents to use their future Social Security benefits to take time off after having a baby.

On the other side, many House Democrats introduced the FAMILY Act, which would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave. Many Democratic presidential candidates have also made the issue central to their campaigns.

Right now, in the U.S., a mother who has a baby is entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act — known as the FMLA — but that's only if she's a full-time employee of a company that has more than 50 employees and has worked there for nearly a year.

The fact is, the United States is one of only eight countries in the world that doesn’t have paid family leave available to parents, according to Amy Raub.

Raub is principal research analyst with the WORLD Policy Analysis Center and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. She researches maternity leave policies across the world, in countries rich and poor, and can compare and contrast the differences, some of which might surprise you.

She spoke more about it with The Show, starting with a comparison to the country's immediate neighbors — Canada and Mexico.

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