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The U.S. lags among developed countries in parental benefits, including paid maternity leave.

Mar. 08, 2011

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) enables U.S. workers with new children or family members with serious medical conditions to take unpaid, job-protected leave and it only covers about half of the U.S. workforce.   But paid maternity leave is common in most other countries. According to a recent report from Human Rights Watch, at least 178 countries have national laws that guarantee paid leave for new mothers, and more than 50 also guarantee paid leave for new fathers. We’ll find out how they’ve done it from Janet Gornick, co-author of the book Families That Work: Policies for Reconciling Parenthood and Employment. Also, our human rights contributor Doug Cassel explains the importance of the United Nation’s recent decision to refer the Libyan government to the International Criminal Court for its actions against protesters.