Walking the Talk: Why This Small Business Owner Provides Employees With Paid Family Leave

The lack of federally mandated, paid family leave has long been a pain point in the lives of American workers.

The United States, which lags far behind other industrialized nations in this respect, is one of few countries that still fails to provide working families with guaranteed paid leave for postpartum mothers and other caregivers. Other countries in this category include: Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, Suriname, Tonga, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, and Palau.

Due to this lack of federal legislation, some small business owners have taken it upon themselves to implement company-wide family leave policies to help support their employees.

Included in this small handful of businesses is Latched Mama, a motherhood-focused maternity, nursing, and babywearing brand which grants employees access to 100 days of fully paid maternal leave. Founder, Melissa Wirt, was recently interviewed by Marketplace, to discuss the challenges and rewards of offering her employees paid leave.

“You’re really going to see rewards on the other side in terms of a different type of employee that comes back,” Wirt said.

Thankfully, things finally seem to be looking up for American families who have been long awaiting a federally mandated paid leave policy. During a recent State of the Union Address, held on Tuesday, March 1st, President Joe Biden called for passing a new policy that would guarantee all working families with paid leave. This legislation is a part of his landmark $2 trillion Build Back Better Act.

If passed, this widely supported legislation would provide American families with paid leave benefits similar to those of other developed countries, many of which already guarantee as much as one year of paid leave to new parents.

But in the meantime, it is still up to small businesses such as Latched Mama to walk the talk and do right by their employees, despite the lack of federal legislation. To read the complete Marketplace article and learn more about Latched Mama’s maternity leave policy, click here.

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