Just this morning, I was listening to the news, contemplating what a woman president might mean for the USA. Just as having a black president in the White House hasn’t cured America of racism, nor will having a woman president solve all problems facing women and families. But it’s highly possible that having a woman head the White House would allow some issues to be discussed where some people haven’t even recognized that there are problems. But then, I brushed the thought away, knowing that the field is crowded with middle aged white men, and the odds really aren’t in her favor.
I’m thrilled to read that the city of San Francisco has passed a groundbreaking law for paid maternity leave. Normally I would just link here, but this is so important, I’m going to import the entirety of the article by Kate Schweitzer. Although this doesn’t, perhaps, solve problems specifically for the pregnant entrepreneur, this is one very important part of recognizing that the US can do better in supporting our families, who are also our citizens. It should be noted that this law was signed into law by the California governor Jerry Brown, who is most decidedly not a woman, but he gets it.
There’s a billboard in my town for the local hospital that says something pretty profound, “One way to have a strong local community is to have more babies.” At the very core, this is true. We’ve seen the reverse work against struggling steel mill and rust belt towns, where young people move away and take their babies – future citizens- with them. I’ve come to understand that caring for babies and their parents isn’t just a humane and decent thing to do, it’s economically and even politically smart. We pool our collective resources for all sorts of things, including public schools, a strong standing military, and an excellent road system, among many, many others.
This morning, while I pondered a woman, any woman, leading the White House, I didn’t dare to let myself see her there. But after reading this news, I’m not going to censor myself anymore. What can we do together, as citizens, as a strong economy, as parents???
One City in the US Just Mandated the Most Groundbreaking Parental-Leave Policy to Date
as reported on PopSugar.com
If you’re looking to start a family, you might want to first make a move to San Francisco. Lawmakers unanimously approved a measure making it the first city in the entire nation to require fully paid leave for new parents.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the law with low-wage workers — who so often struggle with the effects of taking a pay cut to bond with their child — top of mind.
“Our country’s parental leave policies are woefully behind the rest of the world, and today San Francisco has taken the lead in pushing for better family leave policies for our workers,” Scott Wiener, the bill’s author, said in a statement after the vote. “We shouldn’t be forcing new mothers and fathers to choose between spending precious bonding time with their children and putting food on the table.”
What does this groundbreaking law mean for those living in San Fransisco — and for you? Here’s what you need to know.
What does the new law provide?
Because the state of California already allows workers to receive 55 percent of their pay — through a state insurance program funded by the workforce — for up to six weeks, this new measure will require private employers in San Francisco to cover the remaining 45 percent of a parent’s full pay for those same six weeks.
Who benefits from it?
The new mandate covers both mothers and fathers, including same-sex couples. It is offered to those who deliver a child themselves or adopt. Additionally, both full-time and part-time employees who work in the city limits can benefit from the law.
When does it take effect?
The new regulations will be phased in gradually. Businesses who employ at least 50 workers will offer it starting January 2017, and those with 35 to 49 workers must comply the following July. Finally, those with 20 to 34 employees have until January 2018 to provide the benefit. At this stage, companies with fewer than 20 employees are exempt.
What’s the catch?
Despite San Francisco’s progressive stance on parental leave, it’s still cost-prohibitive for many working families to live there. Coupled with skyrocketing rental prices – the average one-bedroom apartment costs $3,590 a month – and a cost of living nearly 90 percent higher than the national average, it’s not the most affordable option.
Additionally, many small businesses in the municipality have argued that the financial requirement is an expensive burden they simply can’t afford. According to the city’s Office of Economic Analysis, the ordinance could “increase the cost of hiring and slow job creation and replacement.”
How does it compare to other policies?
California has one of the more expansive maternity laws in the country, and at this moment, only two other states — New Jersey and Rhode Island — require paid parental leave. None currently offer such leave at full pay. But just this week, New York passed a generous law requiring up to 12 weeks of partially paid time off for new parents funded through a weekly payroll tax.
Globally, however, the US still has a long way to go: it’s the only advanced nation on the planet that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave.