If you've missed out on the back and forth between Amazon and The New York Times, the short version is that it has hardly been a mutual admiration society. At the end of the summer, the newspaper published a scathing report detailing how the company is "redrawing the boundaries of what is acceptable" in how far it can push its employees. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was quick to respond with an internal memo, saying that he did not believe the company in the article was the Amazon he knows, encouraging employees to report any instances of the behavior it described. Now it seems Amazon is taking concrete steps to correct that perception more broadly.
When's the right time during a job interview to ask a prospective employer about maternity leave? If you're like most working women, you probably answered, "Never." It's hard enough convincing a hiring manager that a candidate of childbearing years is worth the risk, without giving them an excuse to shut the door on the conversation. This week, Fairygodboss, a site that reviews employers with working women in mind, released its Maternity Leave Resource Center, allowing women to research companies' maternity leave policies before they accept a job offer – no awkward interview questions required.
America's parental leave situation is dire. As you probably know, America is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not offer paid parental leave to workers, so working parents are forced to use accumulated vacation and sick hours to ensure some sort of income during their time off. Even if parents are lucky enough to have paid parental leave, they might not take it all. Why? In part, it's because dads often head back to work, even before their leave is up.
Last month, we asked working parents to share their experiences with taking parental leave in the US. The responses, which came from people in occupations as diverse as librarian and banker, showed what most of us already know: the United States has a long way to go when it comes to leave for new parents. While top tech employers like Netflix and Microsoft might dangle months or even a year of paid leave, most working parents are left cobbling together disability, vacation time, and FMLA leave – if they're lucky enough to qualify.
Lately, a lot more American companies have been jumping on the paid paternal leave bandwagon and finally offering their employees more paid time off after having a baby. This is great news for working parents in America – because, if you're a working parent, then you know that the struggle is very real. We'll take a look at how some companies in the U.S. are stepping up their paid paternal leave game, even if the country as a whole still lags behind the rest of the world.
Two weeks. 14 days. That's the entire length of maternity leave that most American workers take when their child is born. And, it seems some of us are shocked by that fact. After all, we're all protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act, right? Since 1993, the FMLA has ensured 12 work weeks off in a 12-month period, but that doesn't sync up with the reality that nearly 25 percent of women are forced to return to work after two weeks.
Last night, Netflix announced what may well be the most generous parental leave policy in the country – which isn't saying much, given that the U.S. mandates no paid leave, and offers only 12 weeks of unpaid time off for new parents. To get a sense of how radical (and unusual) policies like these are, we asked working parents in a variety of industries to share their experiences of the state of parental leave in the United States today.
The United States is one of only four countries in the world that doesn't guarantee any paid leave for new parents. Americans who work for the government or private companies with 50 or more employees are usually covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period – but when expenses are higher than ever before, families are often hard-pressed to use unpaid leave. As a result, employers in competitive niches like tech use paid parental leave as a way to woo in-demand talent, with giants like Google and Facebook often topping the list. On Tuesday, Netflix announced a paid parental leave policy that would make even the most pampered employees green with envy: unlimited time off, at full pay, after the birth or adoption of a child.
Women comprise nearly half of today's workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 47.7 percent of households are dual-income, with both the husband and wife working. What's more, approximately 70 percent of these women are also mothers, who handle a vast majority of the household responsibilities along with their careers. It's not surprising, then, that working mothers are struggling to keep up with the high demands of juggling their personal and professional lives simultaneously. Here's what working mothers need in order to get a fair shot at attaining their goals in and out of the workplace.