Inside the movement for paid time off to have a baby — in Utah and beyond

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  • RBB Sandy, UT
    March 5, 2018 9:45 a.m.

    First, if you chose to have a baby, why should your employer have to pay for it. Not only does it make running a business harder when an employee is suddenly gone for months - but you have to have the job open for them when they return.

    Second, do you really want to make women less attractive as potential hires. If she is young, a person looking to hire is going to say - ok, she will probably have 4 kids. That will mean I have to pay her 1-3 years worth of wages she is not working. So if she is applying for a $60,000 a year job, she is going to cost me $60,000 to 180,000 more than a man, on top of the headache of filling her position while she is gone.

    Third, I have heard complaints from managers at companies that do provide paid leave. She shows up, works 6 months and then takes 6 months of maternity leave - only to decide to stay at home once the maternity leave runs out.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Feb. 23, 2018 11:19 a.m.

    I like the old system best: get married (choose carefully), have children, stay home mother (your children need you). I have heard it called the "dmba" system: date, marry, baby, ADIOS!

    The alternative system has been catastrophic for society but, if needs must, I hope your children have devoted and physically strong grandparents.

  • Rebel ,
    Feb. 16, 2018 11:17 a.m.

    The most important job for a mother is in the home period.

  • windsor Logan, UT
    Feb. 15, 2018 5:01 a.m.

    There is a BIG difference between wanting to work and having to work.

    I wish the 'must work' moms could have this paid time off---and the 'choosing to work because I want a career and/or social interaction all day with adults more than I want to stay home and raise my baby' people could somehow be separated from the other kind of moms and not get it.

    I just think it ingenuous for a woman who 'wants' to work-- and doesn't financially need to-- to pretend she cares so much about spending time with her baby.

    She COULD spend all the time in the world with her baby if she wanted-she could give up her job......other women who are compelled to work aren't so lucky to have that choice.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Feb. 14, 2018 9:10 a.m.

    And in some related news: Riding the momentum from the #resistance, Planned Parenthood is 'going on the offense'. Planned Parenthood will announce on Tuesday a new campaign to help expand access to reproductive health care state-by-state. The nonprofit is working alongside state lawmakers, advocates for reproductive rights and partners -- such as the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, Latino Memphis in Tennessee and the Michigan Progressive Women's Caucus -- to push reproductive rights policies in more than a dozen states and DC this week. The organization, its partners, policymakers and activists plan to advance initiatives in all 50 states by the end of the year."This really is growing out of an unprecedented grass-roots movement across the country," Danielle Wells, Planned Parenthood's assistant director of state policy media, told CNN. "People are mobilizing, organizing and fighting back on behalf of their health and rights. We are channeling that energy into action, and really going on the offense. Now is time for us to unite together and expand reproductive health care." Great for all the women who've reproductive health care resources restricted/denied recently.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Feb. 14, 2018 8:09 a.m.

    This article is just an advocacy piece by the liberals at the DN and not news. Why is this article listed in the US and World news section?

  • dski HERRIMAN, UT
    Feb. 14, 2018 12:12 a.m.

    Why don't they come out and say, we are pushing aside self reliance and promote public reliance. Liberals and social engineers never quit, especially when it comes to other people's money. Why don't they show or relate how they have given paid leave to their employees and the benefits their businesses enjoyed. Chances are, that would never happens.

  • Mr. Bean Springville, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 7:14 p.m.

    @Miss Piggie:
    "So, naturally, men get paid at a higher rate than women. After all, wage rates are based, in large measure according to time on the job."

    It is strange and puzzling that those who gripe about women being paid less than men do not consider the fact that men, across the entire workforce, are on the job longer than women. Why? Because women take time off to have children. OR they wait to enter the workforce til they have raised their family. An important factor of wage computations is how long an employee has been on the job.

  • lnkmom Lehi, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 6:42 p.m.

    Susan Storm: "So do we love families? Or do we worship capitalism?"

    Oddly, you think that supporting paid and mandatory maternity leave for both parents (which assumes that both parents will continue to work outside the home after the birth of their child and allow someone else to raise their child) is the thing supporting strong families. And that not paying people who chose to have children while working is "worshiping capitalism"... in my mind (and I would say many, many people still) it's exactly the other way around.

    Having a parent at home raising the children is what supports families and family values. Feeling the pressure to "Keep up with the Jones'" and have both parents working outside the home so that they can have better this and nicer that is the thing driving the "worship of capitalism". Sure, there have been times when my husband and I have thought, "wouldn't it be nice if we had a little extra money to do x,y,z." But, having me at home each and every day when our children leave for school and get home from school (and me helping at school) has been a far better "value for our money" than any extra we would get from me being at work all day!

  • dfb123 Saratoga Springs, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 3:07 p.m.

    @I Choose Freedom (and others) - I'm in the same boat and totally agree. If a person wants paid maternity leave as an employment benefit, then I'm 100% open to having that conversation with them - it's one of the options as we negotiate terms of employment. And if I were to give that as a benefit, it would - of necessity - come in exchange for a lower salary.

    It's not about greed. It's math - that money has to come from somewhere.

    I'm already required by law to hold a person's job for them when they go on maternity leave, which means that while they are away I have to pay someone to do their work and disrupt many others to deal with it. It's not fair, but it's a compromise that we can get behind because we do really care about that person and their new baby.

    But then - on top of all of that - to have the government step in and force me to pay that person to not work? That becomes really difficult. Let me sort out that benefit for those that really want it, instead of forcing me to lower everyone's pay so that I can build into my budget enough to survive the chance of some number of employees taking paid maternity leave each year.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 2:50 p.m.

    @Susan Storm
    RE: "So do we love families? Or do we worship capitalism?"...
    Now that's a false-dichotomy. And I hope your smart enough to realize that. It's not one or the other.

    You can love families. And not worship capitalism.

    You can accept the realities of capitalism... and still love your family.

    Not mutually exclusive. Not even co-dependent.

    I love my family. And I understand the realities of a pay-check, and running a business. It doesn't have to be one or the other, all-or-nothing. That's a wrong way to look at the world we live in.

    Having babies is great. It's what life is all about. Getting somebody to pay you for it... is not.

    I'm OK with maternity leave. We already have it.
    I'm OK with FLMA (we already have it).
    I'm OK if Congress increases the amount of maternity leave, as long as the government pays for it if they mandate it.

    We could do this through a tax deduction for the business to help them pay an employee who's not actually working for them (Note: They may have to hire someone else to do that work, thus paying two people for the same amount of work).

    Just because I don't agree with you... doesn't make me evil or something.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 2:34 p.m.


    "Not everyone has a stable partner, not everyone has a problem-free delivery or newborn, not everyone has family around to step in and help. "

    Right, and those people should set themselves up financially and otherwise to ensure they can take care of their child(or pay for someone else to do it) if they choose to have a child.

    But dont make me pay for your decision to have a kid. I dont have a say when soemone else has kids so they shouldnt have say on my finances to pay for that kid. They wanted the kid, not me.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 2:30 p.m.

    I choose freedom

    "No one stepped in and guaranteed that I would have the funds necessary to run my business. Why should you have a guarantee at someone else's expense?"

    Amen and amen.

    And I imagine you being the good and responsible person you are, you would be opposed to taxpayers coming in and guaranteeing your business succeeds.

    Well said my friend! Socialism is evil and doesnt work

  • Oh, please! Saint George, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 2:14 p.m.

    @I Choose Freedom. I whole-heartedly agree. My spouse and I had three successful small businesses, with a combined total of 25 full- and part-time employees. It would have been disastrous to run those if we would have had to give months off for an employee (paid or unpaid). If we had two employees out at the same time, we would have had to bring someone else on. Training for our businesses took several years for someone to be up to speed.

    When these kinds of mandates are considered, it's obvious that the legislators don't have a clue about small businesses.

  • I Choose Freedom Atlanta, GA
    Feb. 13, 2018 2:00 p.m.

    Re: SMcloud - Sandy, UT @ Feb. 13, 2018 1:22 p.m.

    "I read the comments and am ashamed at what a heartless and selfish group this is."

    I started my business just over 10 years ago. I put my life savings at risk to do so. I now have eight employees that rely on this business to give them a paycheck every two weeks. I cannot count the number of sleepless nights I have had as I have risked every thing I have to make this business work. It is easily in the thousands!

    There are many small businesses like mine that take enormous risks to start a business and provide employment for others. And you call me heartless and selfish because I don't want to take on an additional burden that is someone else's choice. A burden that could very easily destroy everything I have worked so hard to build!

    Everything that has value has a price. Children have value and they have a price too. If you want to have a child, like I wanted to have a business, you must be willing to pay the price. No one stepped in and guaranteed that I would have the funds necessary to run my business. Why should you have a guarantee at someone else's expense?

    This feel-good socialism would be a disaster for this country.

  • SMcloud Sandy, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 1:22 p.m.

    Not everyone has a stable partner, not everyone has a problem-free delivery or newborn, not everyone has family around to step in and help.

    I read the comments and am ashamed at what a heartless and selfish group this is.

    Don't you see that these laws would protect your children when they have your grandchildren? These laws benefit society as a whole. God forbid we make things easier for workers instead of always thinking of the bottom line.

  • Susan Storm Sandy, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 1:17 p.m.

    Every other first world country does this. It doesn't cause the economy crashing down. They look at the US like we are still in the industrial age with children working as chimney sweeps and poor houses.

    We as a society talk all the time about how important families are. How important it is to have stable homes. THIS is part of it. We need to start making policies that align with our values.

    So do we love families? Or do we worship capitalism?

  • soccer coach Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 1:15 p.m.

    What about maternity leave from your church callings? Is this a big thing in other wards like it is in mine?

  • LoveLondon Murray, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 1:03 p.m.

    I am all for allowing people time off for the birth of a child, and if an employer wants to pay for the leave that's great too. That said, no employer should be required to provide paid leave for the birth of a child. I am tired of government intruding in every aspect of our lives.

    It amazes me the entitlement mentality that exists in our society today. Free college education, paid paternity leave, etc. There is no such thing as free - somebody pays for it.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 12:18 p.m.

    I'm think paid maternity/paternity leave is a fine benefit. So too is a generous amount of vacation time. Ditto low cost health insurance, 401(k) matches, pensions, subsidized passes for mass transit, and free gym memberships.

    These are all good things.

    The best thing of all, however, is a fat paycheck that the employee can spend however s/he likes.

    At the end of the day, an employee brings a certain amount of value and no employer can afford to spend more than that in salary/wages and benefits.

    Personally, I've come to the conclusion that the best benefit is the highest salary possible with the option to take unpaid time. I can save my money and take time off. I can buy whatever I like, with my money, without worrying about what my employer likes or doesn't like.

    Mandating paid maternity/paternity leave will reduce compensation in some other area.

    I'm very much in favor of taking time with a new baby. I actually favor taking at least 6 years and raising the child full time until he starts school. If others choose differently, they should not expect anyone else to pay for their decisions.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 12:13 p.m.

    Taking extra time with your newborn - Good.

    Putting a gun to someone else's head and forcing them to pay for it - Bad.

  • Neanderthal Springville, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 12:13 p.m.

    " — including a bill now being proposed at the Utah Legislature, HB156, that would provide six weeks of paid, job-protected leave..."

    Strange... it doesn't take six weeks of leave to birth a baby. It takes years to birth and care for children. The proper way is for the mom to not only birth the child, but to stay home with the child(ren) until they are raised and can take care of themselves.

  • Miss Piggie Springville, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 12:00 p.m.

    @2 bits:
    "I agree you should take time off when you have a baby."

    And I also agree. Most, if not all employers give their employees sick and vacation leave with pay. That should be enough time to have a child. Any more time needed to have a child and raise it should not be charged to the employer.

    And another thing... Everyone seems to think women are paid less than men... And they are. The reason is fairly simple... men are on the job more than women because women have the children and are the primary caregivers in their young lives. So, naturally, men get paid at a higher rate than women. After all, wage rates are based, in large measure according to time on the job.

  • Matlas Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 10:28 a.m.

    Sure, this becomes a possibility AFTER my 13 kids were born...can I take time retroactively?

  • SomeClarityPlease Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 9:29 a.m.

    What an outstanding question Password posed. Please read it and reread it. So not only will you have to pay your child's nanny to take six weeks off, you will also have to take six weeks off yourself again to care for your child.

    Doesn't anyone else tire of the nanny state and big government always trying to get bigger? Do any workers out there tire of working and paying for the vast amount of people sitting at home on welfare? I keep hearing "The United States is the only country . . . . . . " blah blah blah. I say good for The United States resisting going down the socialist path.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 9:12 a.m.

    I agree you should take time off when you have a baby. In fact... you should probably plan to stay home with that baby for several years and raise it, if you plan to have a baby.

    My kids worked on their savings and their finances until they could afford to live on one income before having children.

    They practiced living on one income for several months (and saving the 2nd income) to see if they could make it. It took time, but after raises and job changes it was possible (not easy). Now they are so happy they decided to find out if they could live on one income before committing to a baby, and then figuring out they couldn't stay with the baby and had to turn it over to somebody else while they went back to work.

    It's hard I know. And not everybody can do it. But if you possibly can... it's the best situation for the baby. You kind of owe it to the baby to stay with it and take care of it's needs if you bring it into the world. I know others will do it for you (for money)... but really that's something you should do yourself. If you can.

    Every company I've been at gave mothers maternity leave (paid). Fathers took PTO or FLMA

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 8:57 a.m.

    If you want to have a baby - great. But you should pay for it.

    Demanding an employer pay his employee for their choice to have a child is nauseating.

  • common sense in Idaho Pocatello, id
    Feb. 13, 2018 8:56 a.m.

    I am all in favor of this legislation. Maternity and paternity leave. Both. Time spent by Dad and Mom at home with their newborn children is far more valuable than any time spent at work. Just my opinion.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 8:48 a.m.

    A proper maternity leave system is a good thing all round. It's not socialism, or horrible somehow because the mother has to work.
    Why is our family values society so void of them?

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 8:37 a.m.

    Socialism...but spoken longer and dragged out.

  • Password Lincoln, NE
    Feb. 13, 2018 7:19 a.m.

    Question? What happens when the person you hired to raise your new baby needs to take time off from raising your new baby to have a new baby? Do you then have to pay the person hired to raise your new baby for the time she needs off to care for her own new baby? Inquiring minds want to know!

  • markc69 keokuk, IA
    Feb. 13, 2018 6:41 a.m.

    six weeks wont make it any easier woman to leave their child at the point either and than what - six months - a year - my wife stayed home with all five of our children - she works now that they are all in school - we didnt buy our first house till we were in our 30s and we sacrificed a lot of things - you can make a choice to work and thats ok if you want to - or stay at home and take care of your children - but i shouldnt have to pay for you to do so - no one paid my wife to take care of our children - I know thats not the popular view anymore but I still have two children at home a senior and a 6th grader so im not that old -

  • emb Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 4:22 a.m.

    I find it interesting so much focus is on the birth and a short period after when child rearing is a much, much more long term affair. I salute all dedicated mothers and fathers.