Federal law in the United States does not provide for paid parental leave after the birth of a child, and the US is one of the few developed countries that do not. In addition to the US, Liberia, Swaziland and Papua New Guinea do not offer paid parental leave. As of 2013, a little more than 11% of US employers voluntarily offered paid family leave to its employees. US law does include the Family Leave Medical Act, which allows time off for parents after the birth of a child, but it does not have to be paid time off, and not all employers are required to offer it.
More about family leave:
- Even in countries with paid family leave, it often is not at full pay, and there might be limitations for how often it can be taken. For example, in Zimbabwe, Barbados, Egypt and Jamaica, women are allowed only three maternity leaves for the duration of their working lives.
- The law in Sweden allows for the most paid family leave, at a total of 16 months per child for both parents combined.
- In 2004, California became the first US state to pass a law that requires paid parental leave.