Do you know how maternity leave works? I thought I did: You get some time off. Some of it is paid. Most of it is unpaid. And then you go back to your job and leave the baby at home or at a daycare or whatever and proceed to be a woman who works, and also a mother (“having it all,” in the parlance of our times).
This apparently is not how it actually works most of the time. This is “THE MATERNITY LEAVE MYTH.”
The Family Medical Leave Act guarantees a woman’s job for 12 weeks after she gives birth—but only if she’s worked at the company for 12 months and if the company where she’s worked has over 50 employees. A lot of women end up losing their jobs, even in cases when their jobs should be protected (the Post story has some tales of women pushed out of their jobs after maternity leave because bosses never returned any of their calls).
IN ADDITION, none of that 12 weeks is paid leave, unless the woman has banked sick or vacation time. This isn’t how it is in Canada and Europe, surprise. In fact, the U.S. is among only five countries who don’t offer guaranteed paid leave for women on maternity leave. (In our company: Lesotho, Liberia, Swaziland, and Papua New Guinea.)
So! Baby =/= paid vacation. GOOD TO KNOW.