POSTS WITH TAG: maternity leave

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    Ever since the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed in 1978, it's been illegal to discriminate against pregnant women in the workplace. Problem is, employers aren't totally getting it, which is why the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued new guidelines on this issue -- the first time it's done so in 30 years. We say it's about time! But we also understand why it hasn't totally sunk in, since legalese isn't the easiest language to understand. So we asked legal experts to spell out what these new guidelines really mean. Here's a cheat sheet:

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    Paternity leave is a joke: Ask most dads how long they took off after the birth of their child, and most might say a day or two, a week tops. Yet the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is calling for change, mandating that fathers get the same length of parental leave as mothers. Woo hoo! Only the question remains: Would guys even take it? Granted, the pressure they face to return to work is intense. That's why we were stunned to talk to Brian Stewart, 36, in Columbus, Ohio, who fought to take a full year of paternity leave to care for his son, Andrew. Here's the story of how he did it, the gender-biased backlash he experienced, and why he says it was still the best decision of his life.

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    Ten weeks. That's how long my maternity leave was after my first baby was born. Two weeks shorter than usual, but generous considering I'd been at my current job for less than six months.

    That 10 weeks seemed like an eternity when I thought about it in the abstract, before my daughter's birth, and even in the early days home from the hospital. Can you imagine having 10 weeks vacation? That's what I always told myself, even as I saw the days ticking by at a frightengly fast clip.

    But experienced, sage moms know that maternity leave is about as far from vacation as you can get. Suddenly, almost without warning, I was a week away. Then a day. And then the dreaded "first day back at work" was suddenly here. And I was heartbroken. I felt dead inside.

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    Maternity leave is supposed to make moms' lives easier -- and their babies' lives better. But if you've ever had a co-worker drop a snide comment about your time off after giving birth or dealt with a boss who hemmed and hawed about giving you your legally protected leave, you know it's hard out there for moms who take maternity leave. And a woman's unusual break from work is about to make it even harder for all the moms out there.

    Tanya Oliva is on maternity leave .... for her puppy.

    No, this is not a story out of a supermarket tabloid. Oliva did not give birth to a canine.

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    Good grief -- when the heck is Kate Middleton finally going to give birth? It seems like we've been on royal baby watch forever, and it's basically a shock to wake up every morning only to find out she still hasn't gone into labor yet. (Seriously. This is getting really old.)

    And while I'm sure the extra time spent waiting for her little one's arrival has allowed her to make sure she's ready to become a mom, there's one thing she just can't fully prepare herself for. Prince William is only taking two weeks of paternity leave, which is basically like five seconds when it comes to life with a newborn baby.

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    Pregnancy and childbirth in the United States is among the most expensive in the world. For many people, even those (like me) who have private insurance, the out-of-pocket expenses are astounding. Of course, there are some private insurance companies that simply don't have maternity care at all, which means that the $32,000 hospital bill may very well end up on the shoulders of the brand new parents.

    Stay classy, America. I mean, really, this is appalling. Let me get this straight: Women can't have their birth control paid for according to some lawmakers, abortion is verboten, and childbirth itself costs an arm and a leg and insurance companies aren't mandated to cover it. They make arbitrary decisions that affect our bottom line and hurt families in so many ways.

    Then, when you finally pay off the hospital bill, you get the joy of a 10-minute maternity leave followed by $2,000 a month in (unsubsidized) child care. I am so proud to call the U.S. home sometimes.

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    Now that Kate Middleton's maternity leave has officially begun, we're all curious as to what exactly the Duchess is planning on doing to keep herself occupied until her little bundle of joy arrives.

    And according to E! Online, it sounds like she's having a real picnic so far, almost literally. Supposedly Kate has been doing prenatal yoga every other day, in addition to swimming and relaxing by the pool at the Palace. 

    Wow. Sounds like a mom-to-be's dream come true. Someone remind me where I can sign up to be a pregnant princess, again?

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    With Kate Middleton ohsoclose to having the royal baby, rumors are flying about what we'll see in the final countdown. But, if the an anonymous source who spoke to The Mirror on Sunday is right, an appearance scheduled 10 days from now (to christen a cruise ship) may be the last time we get a glimpse of the Duchess. That's because, reportedly, her "maternity leave" is going to officially begin June 13.

    "Maternity leave," you ask? Why the formal, official, workplace-style term? Isn't she the Duchess of Cambridge? The wife of Prince William? Can't she just fill up her calendar whenever she's feeling like it and then back off of responsibilities when she's not and needs to chill more in preparation for the arrival of her baby? Uh, guess not!

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    After all the fuss about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's five-second maternity leave and total ban on working from home, she made some shocking news today. Yahoo will double its paid maternity leave from 8 weeks to 16. That's 16 PAID weeks for parental leave. Dads will get eight weeks of paid leave.

    Just to put this in perspective, Google employees get 18 to 22 paid weeks, and at Facebook, moms and dads get 4 months. New Yahoo parents also get $500 to go toward related costs. But still, can you imagine getting a perk like that? I think parents would be more likely to take that leave if it were paid.

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    Once again, science has gone through an awful lot of trouble to prove something totally obvious that we already knew. New moms on maternity leave feel totally inadequate about returning to work. If we're at home, we go for days without talking to another adult. When we return to work, we have less confidence. I mean, the whole study just paints the saddest, most demoralizing portrait of working motherhood you could ever ask for. Gee, thanks!

    Okay, so we really didn't need these researchers to tell us it's insanely difficult to get our career mojo going again after we have a baby. Here's what we DO need: Some fresh ideas for HOW to get our career mojo going again.

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