Answer: They are, according to the International Labour Organization, the only four nations on the planet with no paid maternity leave.
Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports, countries not run on twisted draconian principles of 19th Century capitalism, are debating whether to increase government mandated paid maternity leave. Imagine. The UK is considering an increase from nine to twelve months. Sweden offers 480 days of paid parental leave.
The FT considers the ‘cost to employers’ argument that some 3rd World countries (and these United States) claim is too burdensome, but concludes:
“Maternity leave provides clear benefits to society. Apart from the advantages of babies spending their early months with their mothers, breast-fed children have lower rates of infections, childhood diabetes, eczema, obesity and asthma.
Companies benefit from maternity leave by allowing women to return to work when their children are a little older, rather than forcing them to resign if they want to be with their babies. Employers hold on to people and escape the additional costs of having to replace those who leave”.
Little wonder President Obama saluted “the hardest-working people on Earth” in his recent address to Congress. With family values like these, Mom has no choice.