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Article Title

Babies Aren't U.S.

Abstract

Parental leave has been an on-going issue in the political process, most recently during this presidential election. This is because upon the birth or adoption of a child, many in the United States cannot afford to take time off from work to care for and integrate children into their families. This is especially true for the contemporary family. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) was Congress’s attempt to strike equilibrium between employment and family and medical needs. The FMLA put legal emphasis on the family unit in an effort to neutralize gender discrimination while promoting gender equality for women in the workplace. In its time, the FMLA was a step in the direction of today’s trend, where longer, compensated parental leave is required. However, in this day and age where both parents often work full-time jobs, the FMLA has fallen flat. In this article, I argue that the FMLA must be expanded to adequately fulfill the work-family balance.

This article critiques the policy and purpose of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. It will also examine the international approach and how the policies of most industrialized nations have surpassed that of United States, exemplified best by some states willingness to address the trend and implement more modern policies. I argue the FMLA is outdated when considering today’s structure of families, fails to align with family values, and is not in the best interests of children, and propose the New York system with some modifications be adopted nationally.

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