Zero Weeks: The Documentary Explores Lack of Paid Leave in USA

Did you know that the USA is the only developed country to not offer paid leave to its citizens?

Did you know that only 14% of workers in the United States have access to paid family leave?

Did you know that 1 in 4 mothers return to work within 10 days of giving birth?

Did you know that FMLA gives access to UNPAID leave?

Did you know that even though many workers have access to FMLA (unpaid) leave, almost half of those who do have access to FMLA are unable to take it because they need the income? They can’t afford to stay home, so they go back to work, putting their health and their baby’s health at risk.

This is the problem that ZERO WEEKS explores.

I’m so grateful Director Ky Dickens  is bringing this up. She explains why paid leave is necessary:


Right now in America, an injury, an illness, the birth of a new baby, an aging parent, is a trigger to poverty. – Ky Dickens


Zero Weeks will be screened at DOC NYC Film Festival on Saturday, November 11 at 11:15 AM @ the School of Visual Arts Theatre. It explores the zero weeks that American workers get and what that means when a baby is born, a parent is sick, or an aging parent needs help.

“Why has the rest of the world figured this out and we haven’t?” _ Tom Perez, former Labor Secretary



The lack of paid leave hurts families, women, the economy and our children. It is immoral and inhuman that women don’t have the proper time to heal after pregnancy. It is wrong that babies are separated from their parents due to the lack of support for working families on a legislative level.

It is wrong that more time is awarded to dogs who give birth than to women… legislatively. Did you know that certain states have laws about when a puppy can be separated from its mother? But they don’t have law as to when a baby can be separated from its mother, which means mothers are going back to work way too soon.


Paid leave isn’t only for parents. Paid leave can be used to take care of an aging parent as well. (You can read more about NY’s Paid Family Leave policy  effective Jan 1st here).

It is NOT OK for legislators who call themselves “family friendly” to not support family-friendly laws that make sense on every level. More importantly,  if the rest of the world has figured it out, why can’t we?


Zero Weeks will be screened at DOC NYC Film Festival on Saturday, November 11 at 11:15 AM @ the School of Visual Arts Theatre. You can purchase tickets here.

Official Site:
On Twitter: zeroweeks
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Director: Ky Dickens

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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