In the US, in most cases there's no maternity leave!
The story begins with two women who suffered the sad coincidence that both of them lost their babies after leaving them in nurseries...
The article linked on top (from Spanish press) says both of them left their babies of just 2 weeks old in the nursery, but after reading the new in USA Today and an article in the NY Times I have found that one of them leave the baby being 3 months old, but they say that some women have to leave them being as young as 2 weeks old to return to their jobs.
Anyway... two weeks old babies! Really?
Let's leave aside the fact that accidents happen and if babies had had 16 weeks (which is the duration of maternity leave we have here in Spain) could have been the same. Also we will forget the issue of: what about breastfeeding? Lately we have seen many scandals most from the USA started by idiots that feel uncomfortable with someone who was breast-feeding a baby in public... but ... what about the postpartum period?
I find it totally absurd that a country from the called 'First World', guardian of freedom and so pride of traditional family values may not be able to create a law to protect newborns and their mothers. Today they have a negative point.
El País (a Spanish newspaper) published last year:
United States is the only OECD nation that does not require companies to provide paid maternity leave. The legislation ensures that only companies with more than 50 workers must ensure as employees for 12 weeks after having a child, but are not required to maintain the salary. The duration is also the shortest among the top 41 economies in the world.
The International Labour Organization states that countries should recognize a minimum of 14 weeks of maternity leave, mothers receive at least two thirds of their salary during this period and that compensation is covered by public services. The US is the only developed country that does not meet any of these requirements. According to the Labor Department, only 13% of mothers American workers reported some form of paid leave in 2014.
What do you think? I cannot say, it seemed to me that we had short maternity leaves in Spain with 16 weeks and we should have the option to extend down to the 6 months recommended by WHO for exclusively breastfeeding although it was losing a part of the salary... Now I don't know if I may complain or not...