The United States is behind the rest of the world when it comes to family leave. It’s one of the only developed countries that doesn’t guarantee paid leave for new mothers, and 40 percent of U.S. workers don’t qualify for 12 weeks of unpaid leave provided by the Family and Medical Leave Act.
These factors can make life difficult for the large part of the U.S. workforce now made of working mothers. Not surprisingly, that number has only increased with time. For example, according toan examination of US Census records conducted by Ancestry.com, in 1860, 7.5 percent of mothers were in the workforce. In 2010? 67 percent. That’s an 800 percent increase.
Good news for mothers and fathers: more states in the U.S. are passing paid family leave legislation, including California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York.
I researched this material for a completely different article, and where this issue ended, another one began. That is, once a new mother transitions back to work after however much time she was able to take off or wanted to take off, what challenges might she face in that transition?
For more, check out Workforce.com.