Does the Family and Medical Leave Act discriminate against poor people and single parents, given that unpaid leave is out of the question for many of them? How should pregnancy and parental leave be structured? In your response, outline a creative solution to the problem of who should pay
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Hello Professor and classmates,
Currently, the Family and Medical Leave Act has stated that all the employees entitled to have twelve workweeks of leave in the 12-month period for the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth. This act could be deemed as discrimination against single parents. It is because, when a couple of parents (a father and a mother) are employees entitled to have the parental leave, they could totally make 6-months of unpaid leave, while a single parent could obtain only 3-months of unpaid leave.
In fact, many women today are single parents who disproportionately raise their children on their own from birth. They are the ones who need more time to raise the children while according to the Family and Medical Leave Act, they could only claim only half as much time off as two-parent families. According to the CDC National Statistics, since the year 2006, there is roughly 40 percent of the US birth to unmarried women, and most of them are coming from a poor income people and women of color. So, it could be said that the Family and Medical Leave Act could be a form to discriminate against single parents that mostly come from poor people.
Then how should the parental leave be structured? The parental leave should be structured with the exemption to the single parent or employee with sole-custody. There should be an addition of the rule regarding the single parent or sole custody employee. For example, the unpaid leave entitled for a father is 3-months, and the unpaid leave entitled for a mother is 3-months. A sole-custody employee is entitled to have the same amount of the couple-parents could have, that is a full 6-months of unpaid leave.
Source: Jill Daugherty, Ph.D., and Casey Copen, Ph.D. 2016. Trends in Attitudes About Marriage, Childbearing, and Sexual Behavior: United States, 2002, 2006–2010, and 2011–2013. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr092.pdf
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