During President Obama's 2014 State of the Union Address, he said that "when women succeed, America succeeds." It's a sentiment he reiterated later in the year, during the White House Summit on Working Families.
So why, then, does the country still have antiquated parental leave policies? Despite being a world power, the United States has no federal law mandating paid time off for new moms.
The Family Medical Leave Act protects working moms in companies with more than 50 employees by giving them at least 12 weeks of unpaid leave and a guarantee to return to their job. But paid leave is still up to the individual company.
Luckily, some businesses go the extra mile by offering paid maternity leave that would thrill any new mom.
These 20 companies offer long stretches of paid time off for new moms to adjust.
- Ernst & Young: 39 weeks (almost 10 months)!
- Cisco: six months
- Google: five months
- Hewlett-Packard: 20 weeks
- Arnold and Porter: 18 weeks
- Reddit: 17 weeks
- Yahoo:16 weeks
- Facebook: 16 weeks
- Citi: 13 weeks
- Cooley: 13 weeks
- Merrill Lynch: 13 weeks
- Microsoft: all new parents get four weeks and new moms can take an additional eight weeks
- Bain and Company: 12 weeks
- Bank of America: 12 weeks
- PricewaterhouseCoopers: 12 weeks
- HubSpot: 12 weeks
- Discovery Communications: 11 weeks of paid maternity leave (with an option for four more weeks at partial salary)
- Ryan: 11 weeks
- Turner Broadcasting System: 10 weeks
- Yale University: 10 weeks
The United States versus the World
And what about other countries? How far do we lag behind the rest of the world when it comes to supporting working families?
The progressive Sweden gives new moms 56 weeks at 80 percent pay, with another 13 weeks at a lower pay rate. Our northern neighbors in Canada can clock in 55 weeks of partially paid time off, while moms in Italy have an option to take up to 44 weeks off with varying rates of pay. Maternity leave is fully paid in Serbia and Denmark for a year, Chile for 18 weeks, France for 16 weeks and Mali for 14 weeks. And even long-time hold out Australia changed its ways in 2010 and mandated 126 days of paid time off.
If you're in HR, how does your company's policies compare? If you want to attract and retain high-quality employees, have you thought about expanding this offering.
If you're an employee, bring this list to your HR department and start the conversation about improving your company's maternity leave policies. You deserve all the help you can get!
What is your company's maternity leave policy? Share your experiences in the comment section below.
And what about dads? Here are 20 companies the offer great paternity leave.