MotherhoodWorking Mom Woes

“No Paid Leave in the USA?” How The Rest of the World Reacts (in GIFs)

This Week marks 23 years since FMLA (the Family Medical Leave Act) became law in 1993. The law provides unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks for medical conditions, such as having a baby. The key word being UNPAID leave. Today in the United States there is NO LAW that gives parents paid parental leave. Very few people have access to paid leave (which is at the discretion of states and up to businesses in most places). The National Partnership for Women and Families estimate that only 13 percent of workers get paid leave in the USA.

This country that likes to call itself number one in everything isn’t when it comes to family-friendly policies. A recent UN Commission of international human experts came to the US to look at women’s issues and they were horrified at the conditions. Women all over the world have access to paid leave and the United States should not be an outlier. Research shows that family leave is good for the economy, good for families, good for babies.

Sweden paid leave


So let’s go through how the rest of the world reacts when they learn some shocking facts about the lack of paid leave in the USA. (Spoiler… shock, disgust and sadness).


When I tell people that I don’t get paid maternity leave at my job they can’t believe it.

“What do you mean you don’t get paid?”


“I can’t believe the United States is the ONLY industrialized  country that doesn’t have paid leave!!!”


“I thought the USA is supposed to be about family values?!”


Over 170 countries offer paid leave and the USA is not one of them.

Some moms go back to work after two weeks of giving birth.

So… is your mind blown yet? (not in a good way!)


Join National Partnership for Women and Families @npwf on February 5, 2016 at 2PM and join the Twitter storm in support of #PaidLeave #FamilyAct! After 23 years, it’s time to make PAID leave a reality.

Time: February 5, 2016  2-3 PM EST

hashtags: #FamilyAct  #MakeNYNext  #PaidLeave  #FMLA23

Make sure to say hello on Twitter @dianalimongi 




Diana Limongi
Diana a mom, activist, nonprofit professional, podcaster and writer from Queens, NY. She writes about motherhood, activism, raising my multilingual kids, culture and travel. She and her multicultural family live in Queens, NY.


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