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Paid Parental Leave And Workplaces Becoming More Family-Friendly

L. Andrew Bell

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

There’s a very slow growing trend in America: maternity and paternity leave. Other industrialized nations have made this mandatory for years. Not us – but the trend is growing and we take a closer look.

Employers in the United States are not required by law to offer their employees paid maternity or paternity leave. America is one of only a small handful of high-income countries in the world where that is the case. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that in 2015 only 12 percent of private sector workers had access to paid family leave.

Maternity leave has been shown to be essential for the health and well-being of both baby and mother. Now, more large companies like Duke Energy, Bank of America and Wells Fargo have taken it upon themselves to offer paid leave. They see these benefits as a way to help recruit and retain talent in a competitive environment.

On the campaign trail, then candidate-Trump proposed a plan to extend paid maternity leave to all new mothers. Charlotte mayor Jennifer Roberts wants the city to include paid family leave for city employees in its upcoming budget. Is this part of a trend towards more family-friendly workplace policies? Mike Collins and his guests will discuss that and more.


Megan Sholar - Lecturer at Loyola University Chicago, and author of Getting Paid While Taking Time: The Women’s Movement and the Development of Paid Family Leave Policies in the United States

Kenny Colbert - President & CEO of The Employers Association in Charlotte, a membership based human resources consulting company with 950 member companies

Dr. Dawn Chanland - Associate Professor of Management, McColl School of Business, Queens University of Charlotte

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.