One of the hot-button issues in this year's presidential election is paid parental leave—and no wonder, since the United States is the only industrialized nation on Earth without paid maternity leave laws. Left up to individual employers, policies vary from corporation to corporation, and sometimes don't exist at all, which means new parents suffer loss of wages during hospital stays and while caring for newborns.
The Family and Medical Leave Act mandates that companies with 50-or-more employees allow workers up to 12 weeks off after having a baby, but these three months may be unpaid—in fact, only 12 percent of private sector workers in the United States have access to paid family leave—and most people can't afford to go 12 weeks without a paycheck.
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Sometimes, paid parental leave doesn't materialize at a company until the reality of what's at stake affects executives at the very top. Take yogurt company Chobani, for instance, who, kudos to them, have just implemented a six week paid parental leave policy.