The sad state of parental leave in the United States


And on the list of countries that mandate zero paternity leave is the United States. At least the U.S. is an equal opportunity denier. There is also no legally required maternity leave. For both parents, leave is up to the employer.

When leave is granted, the family benefits. Jody Heymann, dean of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, points to research from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showing that fathers who take leave after a child is born — especially those who take at least two weeks off — are more likely to be involved in childcare in the first years of life. OECD research also found that children with highly involved fathers perform better on cognitive tests.