Out of 178 nations, the U.S. is one of three that does not offer paid maternity leave benefits, let alone paid leave for fathers, which more than 50 of these nations offer. Here’s how the U.S. stacks up to 14 other countries:
In comparison, Canada and Norway offer generous benefits that can be shared between the father and mother, France offers about four months, and even Mexico and Pakistan are among the nations offer 12 weeks paid leave for mothers.
American women are offered 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which exempts companies with fewer than 50 paid employees, but in 2011, only 11 percent of private sector workers and 17 percent of public workers reported that they had access to paid maternity leave through their employer. And for first-time mothers, only about half can take paid leave when they give birth.
FJP: Puts things in perspective, don’t it?
Update: On Twitter, Sara Morrisson believes the graphic and ThinkProgress quote is misleading, as some US companies do offer paid maternity leave. She has a point. I should have included that what’s being referenced here is mandated paid maternity leave. As Working Mother recently reported, “A Families and Work Institute report found only 16 percent of the companies it surveyed offered fully paid maternity leave in 2008, down from 27 percent in 1998.” — Michael