The stars may finally be aligned for the US to offer paid parental leave, a benefit taken for granted in most of the rest of the world. And it’s Donald Trump who may make it possible. More specifically, his daughter Ivanka. Ivanka Trump has been pushing issues important to families, including childcare and maternity leave, and today (Feb. 13) the US president is scheduled to discuss women in the workforce with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. At the urging of Ivanka, Trump included a maternity leave plan as part of his campaign platform, making him the first Republican nominee to do so. He also included a discussion on working women in the inaugural meeting of his business advisory council Feb. 3
The US is an infamous laggard when it comes to paid leave. At least 180 countries offer some form of mandatory paid time off for mothers after giving birth, and many offer leave for both parents. While the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers to give full-time workers time off because of childbirth or family illness, it doesn’t mandate they be paid, and only 12% of US employees (PDF) have access to paid leave. . .