Fox News Pundit Thinks Maternity Leave Is a ‘Racket’ (VIDEO)

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megyn KellyGet out your calendars and your black magic markers! A Fox News host actually asked the government to stick its nose into the lives of the American workforce and do a little something extra this week. Are you back up from the floor yet? Megyn Kelly dared to take time off when she had her baby earlier this spring, and colleague Mike Gallagher was so PO'd that she got to take a maternity leave, he called it a racket on national radio

Maybe he'd rather we have a bunch of sickly kids who grow into adults who need to live off the system? Moms who don't have enough time to recover from the trauma of birth or major surgery needing to go on disability because they pushed it too hard? Oh, that's right, Gallagher's a conservative. There's nothing he hates more than folks looking for a handout.

That usually goes for Kelly too, but now that she's back from her little racket, she went straight for Gallagher's jugular on her show this week. If anything, Kelly says, the United States is "in the dark ages" because it's one of the rare industrialized nations that doesn't require companies provide compensation for employees on maternity leave:

 

 

Kelly does a fair job of defending the Family Medical Leave Act to Gallagher, whose only excuse for the whole debacle was "I was drinking that day." But what she didn't address was the very reason conservatives should be working to improve the system. Because it saves the government money in the long run.

Studies have linked the ability for mothers to stay home with their children for a period after childbirth to everything from an increased chance the mom will be successful at breastfeeding to a reduction in C-sections, both of which are linked to healthier kids. For the mother herself, time home with the baby typically reduces her stress and chance that she'll develop depression, while a mom who is forced back to work early often displays poor health.

In other words, for folks like Gallagher who apparently need it spelled out for them, maternity leave for mom means fewer health costs for baby and mother alike. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Babies who had time with mom in the early days have been shown to exhibit increased cognitive skills. Considering the higher cost of special education, it's not a stretch to say the smarter a kid, the cheaper to educate when they reach public school. Everything we can do to enhance kid's brains saves us money.

So we have reduced health care costs. Reduced education costs. And what else? We have a happier, more stable workforce thanks to moms who are less stressed and less depressed. And in 20-some years when that child joins the workforce, we have a kid who got an enhanced start on life, bringing with them all that entails: a higher chance of good health, intelligence, emotional stability.

If maternity leave is a racket, it's the first racket I've seen that saves our country money AND enhances our future.

Do you agree with Gallagher?


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momto... momtolittleg

I'm pretty sure Gallagher would rather have all women barefoot and in the kitchen instead of at work to begin with.  That would solve his problem with meternity leave.  Too bad for him that not all women are cut out for that, huh?  Good for her for tellin' it like it is.

madfoot madfoot

Oh, what an absolute pinhead.

Jen_DBD Jen_DBD

I agree he is an idiot. But, I don't know, the attitude and overall tone of your whole special education and sickly kids growing into adults who live off the system, well, it doesn't make me want to listen to the true message of this post. At. All.


A little sensitivity and tact would go a long way.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

I'm fine with the flaming I'm going to get for this, but maternity leave and motherhood in general is part of what makes women less valuable as employees and less desirable job candidates.  Competitive companies and results-oriented managers will choose a man for a position over an equally qualified female, because they know they're less likely to lose the employee for any length of time for maternity leave and the subsequent "my kids are sick"-leave.  Men, in general, are more likelty to stay late, come in early, and do what it takes to get the job done; women have to balance work and home life to keep their guilt in check, and one always suffers - usually work.

jkm89 jkm89

What a fool. That was embarrassing to watch.

EvaSa... EvaSamuel

Hoticedcoffee, I have to say that your view sounds a little archaic to me. A qualified employee is a qualified employee. If an employer takes into consideration gender differences, it might be to consider management style, the ability to work with others, and problem solving skills? Women excel at these things, and that has proven their value in the workplace. I don't believe women nowadays are frequently passed over for employment because they might have a child one day, and it's illegal for an interviewer to ask about relationship status. Megyn Kelly informed the dummy that women who have longer maternity leaves have healthier babies and are healthier themselves. Wouldn't you rather have an employee be out for a longer maternity leave and then be able to count on her when she returns?

hotic... hoticedcoffee

Hoticedcoffee, I have to say that your view sounds a little archaic to me.


It's fine that you think it's archaic, since that's what employers want women to think.  I assure you, as an ambitious, results-driven manager in several companies, I made the choice to hire a man over a woman on more than one occasion, when skill sets, education and experience were comparable.  You're right that it's illegal to ask, and it's also unnecessary.  Women almost ALWAYS tip their hand during an interview process, letting the potential employer know their status, because most women don't want a job or a boss that doesn't cut slack based on their mother status; and savvy childless and/or unmarried women will often make reference to their lack of outside responsibilities because they know it gives them a leg up.


As for having an employee out for a longer maternity leave to make them more reliable upon return?  No, I would prefer an employee who didn't need extra leave to be reliable - I'm sure you realize what a foolish question that is.  No company wants an employee who "needs" 3 months of leave in order to be reliable when they come back to work, when we can opt to hire an employee that won't have that need.  That, as I said, is why men are valued more in the workplace.

rerra... rerratron

As always, it's corporations that are most important in the US.

EvaSa... EvaSamuel

Hoticedcoffee, I couldn't disagree with you more.  Women are extremely valuable in the workplace and I am disappointed that you seem to view motherhood as a liability.  Since I became a mother, I believe I have become a better employee.  I am more organized, I never leave things to the last minute, and have become better able to handle the unexpected.  I use my time more effectively and have two gorgeous reasons (in addition to the fact the I enjoy my job) to go to work every day.  

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