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Boston Considers Paid Maternity Leave

Boston City Councilwoman Michelle Wu holds her eleven week-old son Blaise Pawarski as members of Boston 2024 answer questions during the first meeting of the Boston City Council on the city's bid to be awarded the 2024 Summer Olympics, Friday March 6, 2015, at City Hall in Boston.  (AP)MoreCloseclosemore
Boston City Councilwoman Michelle Wu holds her eleven week-old son Blaise Pawarski as members of Boston 2024 answer questions during the first meeting of the Boston City Council on the city's bid to be awarded the 2024 Summer Olympics, Friday March 6, 2015, at City Hall in Boston. (AP)

Around the world, many countries offer some sort of paid maternity leave for mothers and fathers.

But not the United States, which is in the company of Oman, Lesotho, Swaziland and Papua New Guinea not to offer the benefit.

In the U.S., workers have 12 weeks off under federal law, but companies are not required to pay them.

And, only 13 percent of US workers have the option of paid maternity or paternity leave — and that's in decline as well.

Efforts to pass federal legislation mandating that businesses provide paid leave have repeatedly stalled. So, the action on this issue has shifted to state and local legislatures.

Guest

Michelle Wu, at-large Boston City Councilor. She tweets @wutrain.

More

The Boston Globe: Paid Parental Leave Is a Must For Working Families

  • "In conversations with families across Boston, too often we hear the incredible joy of raising children tempered by frustration and anxiety around workplace policies that are not working. A pregnant employee should not have to worry about choosing between maintaining a career and becoming a mother. A new father should not feel that he has a lesser role to play as a parent because he can’t spare all his sick days to care for a newborn. Paid parental leave is crucial for working families."

This segment aired on March 26, 2015. The audio for this segment is not available.

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