All Articles Tagged "maternity leave"
Just two months after setting off fierce debate about the merits of telecommuting, Yahoo has announced a slate of new perks and benefits for its staffers. On the top of the list is extended maternity and paternity leave. All parents, including fathers now have eight weeks; new moms have 16 weeks.
In addition, parents will receive $500 for necessities, there are gifts for new pet owners, and eight weeks of unpaid leave for employees who make it to five years with the company. This all sounds pretty good, but actually, Yahoo is playing catch up with the rest of Silicon Valley. According to CNN, Google, the company Mayer used to work for, offers all parents seven weeks of paid leave, and between 18 and 22 weeks of maternity leave for mothers. And Facebook offers four months for both parents and $4,000 of “baby cash.”
Mayer herself went back to work two weeks after giving birth to her son on September 30, which everyone commented on (even though it’s none of their business). All of her decisions are watched closely for a variety of reasons: because she’s a woman CEO, because Yahoo was once a major player in the tech space and it’s trying to regain prominence, and because of the attention now being paid to women “leaning in” and “having it all.” Keep in mind, Mayer was pregnant when she accepted the CEO position, so there’s a good chance she felt she had to go back to work as quickly as possibly because she was new to the job.
On the business side, the company’s stock is up 24 percent since the beginning of the year. Mayer herself is being paid $36.6 million in cash and stock for her work.
Research conducted by Kenneth Matos at the Family and Work Institute shows just how far outside the norm these new Yahoo perks are. “Matos’s research shows that only 30 percent of U.S. employers offer paid or unpaid maternity leave that is greater than 12 weeks,” Today’s website says about the data. “Matos also said that 58 percent of employers who provide maternity leave pay new moms for at least some of that time off. Only 14 percent of employers who provide paternity leave pay for some of the dads’ time off.”
Many companies and most states in the US don’t offer very much in the way of paid maternity leave, a rare thing among developed countries. The Today site proposes that the Yahoo changes could spark other developments in this area.
Last week we told you that 46-year-old actress Halle Berry is pregnant with her second child. In case you were wondering what this means for her career, which appears to be moving full speed ahead, Halle says that she’s excited about adding to her family, but she won’t allow the little one slow her stride, according to E! News. She even joked that a new baby is all the more reason to keep working.
“Well, one thing is for sure: I better keep working. With another baby on the way, Mama cannot take time off!” said the mom-to-be.
She went on to discuss how much time she took off when she had her daughter Nahla and why that won’t be happening this time.
“I think that when I had my first child, my daughter, I took off a good four years because it was something new to me. It was my first time, it was something I tried really hard to do…This time, when I have the baby, I’ll keep walking!”
Halle also told BBC that filming for the upcoming X-Men movie will be centered “around the bump.”
“Storm probably won’t be as badass as she was going to be because we won’t be able to do any fighting or flying or things like that. She’ll be different than we originally planned her to be but I still think she’ll be an integral part of this new X-Men movie,” she expressed.
Did you work around your pregnancy or did you take some time off?
This might not come as a surprise to some, but according to a new study in comparison to other countries around the world, the U.S. has been left behind when it comes to working women, reports Forbes. Although women made great strides in the workforce since the 1970s, that growth has flat-lined since the 1990s, according to a new paper from researchers Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn.
This isn’t the case in other countries, where the growth has continued. Here are the numbers: “In 1990, women’s participation rate in the labor force was 74 percent, ranking us at number six among 22 developed countries,” writes the magazine. But since then, the numbers have only increased to 75.2; other countries examined saw a boost from about 67 percent to nearly 80 percent. America currently ranks 17 on the list.
The authors of the paper theorize that it is government policies that have caused fewer women to enter the workforce. The authors looked at policies such as parental leave, the protection of part-time work, and public spending on child care — and America falls far behind on all three. While the U.S., for example, passed the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993, mandating up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for those who had been at a company for a year that has over 50 employees, other countries have generally mandated paid leave that is longer and have expanded it since the ’90s, says Forbes. And, other nations actually increased spending on child care at a faster pace than the U.S. over the past two decades, from .35 percent of GDP to .47 percent, while America spent .03 percent and have only brought that up to .11.
On the downside, some of these policies other countries have the “longer, paid leaves may encourage women to stay out for more time and may make companies view women as more expensive hires if they’re more likely to take leave.” Women in countries that have such job protection policies are also more likely to work part-time.
The higher you rise in a company, the more you may need to look over your shoulder for people looking to take your position. This could be one reason more and more executive women are skipping maternity leave—and many of them work right up to delivery.
Marissa Mayer, who became CEO of Yahoo when she was six months pregnant, raised eyebrows when she announced she would be back to work as soon as possible upon giving birth. But it turns out Mayer is part of a new trend, according to Forbes, where women in power positions are foregoing maternity leave.
“The trend is growing because women are simply overachievers and competitive. Not to mention when you have the CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, saying she is only taking a few weeks off for maternity leave [then] coming back to work, the landscape in the workplace begins to shift. The message is that if she can do it perhaps maternity leave is not necessary,” says Karen Taylor Bass, author/PR expert and mommy commentator at The Brand New Mommy.com in an interview with Madame Noire. Experts who spoke with Forbes speculate that HR departments and managers might now frown upon women who request leave because of the precedent Mayer has set.
Even setting the precedent, Mayer tells HollywoodLife.com that being a working mom is hard. “Most working moms may love their careers and babies but mostly they just feel EXHAUSTED and overwhelmed,” she says.
“Women are competing for job security, and proving to the world that they are just as capable as men to do it all and break through the glass ceiling. The real problem is women are not men and we have certain hormones, which need to normalize after pregnancy not to mention the high rate of post-partum for career women,” notes Bass, author of The Brand New Mommy: From Babies To Branding To Bliss. “Women must not allow HR directors to dictate the terms of their maternity leave; it’s critical for women to take time to heal, reinvent as ‘brand’ moms and bond with their children.”
But it is not just corporate women who are not taking maternity leave. According to independent nonpartisan educational institute Center For American Progress (CAP) data most “non-college” mothers do not get paid leave for maternity leave. So rather than skip a pay check, many just keep working because they cannot afford time off.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 allows for both women and men to take time off from work after birth. But while it is a job-protected leave, it is unpaid. Also, you must qualify. A “worker must have been employed for at least 12 months and have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during that time for an employer with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius,” explains CAP. Because of these requirements, says CAP, young people and people of color are most likely excluded from taking job-protected FMLA leave.
Birth complications around the country are on the rise as well. Between 1998 and 2009, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say the rate of serious complications including heart attack, stroke, severe bleeding and kidney failure during or after childbirth almost doubled, reports Reuters. And a recent CDC study found that minority women are at particular risk. “Between 1993 and 2006, minority women accounted for 41 percent of all births nationwide, but 62 percent of all pregnancy-related deaths,” the story says. “Black women were at greatest risk. For every 100,000 babies born to African Americans, 32 to 35 mothers died. That was roughly four times the rate among white mothers.”
“Having a baby is one of the greatest gifts a woman will experience. The notion of skipping maternity leave is a scary idea when we think how society has simply become a microwave lifestyle. Women/mom/dad need time to heal physically, emotionally, spiritually and not to mention bond with their newborn and allow self a moment to simply experience a new chapter. I am an advocate for moms and dads taking time off from their career to enjoy the miracle,” concludes Bass.
Thanks to Bravo, housewives are a big hit on the reality TV circuit these days. But in real life, unscripted women are hard at work balancing being wives, mother and full-time employees.
A study by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that a majority of first-time, working mothers are receiving paid maternity leave. This is the first time this has happened since the government began tracking that data, which was back in the early 80s. Women with college educations reap even more of a benefit; ladies with bachelor’s degrees or higher are more likely to get paid maternity leave than those with less than a high school diploma.
Get the rest of this story at YourTango.com.
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It can be nerve-wrecking to tell your boss that you’re pregnant, but Amy Zvovushe never thought she’d be fired for it. The 31-year-old had a new job as a senior program manager at a marketing company in Connecticut and when she told her employer she was expecting they asked her to resign, rather than offer her maternity leave, which, under the federal Family Medical Leave Act an employee must work a full year to be eligible.
Luckily, Amy didn’t take her boss up on the request. After she was told she’d lose her job if she took time off, she had a conversation with human resources. According to ABC News, she recorded the discussion without informing them, and caught several shocking statements on tape, including this from an executive:
“You don’t receive protection under FMLA so technically if you don’t come to work … it doesn’t matter whether you’re having your appendix out or you’re having a baby or you’re dealing with a sick person you didn’t show up for work on Monday.”
When Amy’s attorney, Jack Tuckner, contacted the company, they agreed to grant her leave to care for her baby. “Because they were able to fix it, they say no harm, no foul,” he said.
Unfortunately other women aren’t always so lucky. There are reportedly thousands of women who are fired for being pregnant each year, a move Dina Bakst, a lawyer and founder/president of A Better Balance: The Work and Family Legal Center, wrote in a NY Times Op-ed stems from a gap between discrimination laws and disability laws for the injustice.
“Federal and state laws ban discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace. And amendments to the Americans With Disabilities Act require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees (including most employees with medical complications arising from pregnancies) who need them to do their jobs. But because pregnancy itself is not considered a disability, employers are not obligated to accommodate most pregnant workers in any way.”
Dina has made a call to action and acknowledged that seven states have passed laws mandating private companies make at least some accommodations, but according to her there is still much to do.
Check out the tape of Amy Zvovushe’s conversation with her employer. Did you have a hard time getting maternity leave when you were pregnant?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Although I’m a working woman, a new report says that when you add motherhood to the mix, (check) it means economic inferiority, and men come out on top.