Should Leave for Moms Equal Leave for Dads?

By Rebeldad Brian Reid

As most of you know, family leave policies are one of my favorite hobby horses, and I have a pretty straightforward view of things: The more paid leave offered for the birth of a child, the better. Work-life balance is improved, worker retention is better and parents get time with the kids that they might not otherwise have had. Of course, in the United States, long paid leave isn't required by the government, so such policies aren't exactly standard. In fact, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, good leave policies are exceedingly rare.

The IWPR looked at the 100 companies on Working Mother magazine's list of the most family-friendly workplaces and found that even among these standout companies, half provide six weeks of leave or less. That's pretty unimpressive.

But even more interesting is how dads are viewed by these paragons of family-friendliness. Half of the 100 companies have zero family leave. Another 35 percent offer two weeks or less. That's downright dreadful.

I don't believe there should be any disparity between the leave offered to men and to women. Unpaid leave available through the Family and Medical Leave Act is gender-neutral, but the IWPR stats suggest that American businesses, by and large, think that mothers should be treated altogether differently from fathers.

The implicit assumption is that many of these 100-best companies see the care of newborns as the province of the mother, not the father, providing yet another example of the way that parents are tracked into certain family roles from the moment a child enters the world.

In fairness, I have heard of company policies that justify differential leave policies by claiming that extra leave for women is necessarily to account for recuperation from childbirth. That's a fair concern, but shouldn't that really be sick leave, not maternity leave? Otherwise, it appears to throw in an additional biological justification for why moms -- and not dads -- should be the ones at home.

Am I being unfair here in thinking that the disparity is outrageous (though not entirely surprising), or should leave policies be set up without regard to the sex of the parent taking them?

Brian Reid writes about parenting and work-family balance. You can read his blog at rebeldad.com.

By Brian Reid |  September 13, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Childcare , Dads , Division of Labor , Research
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If men refused to take jobs with leave policies that didn't provide what they thought was necessary, those policies would soon change. Or, if you have a job, get all the men to join together and go to the people in charge and ask that the policies be changed. Make a business case for why they should be changed. There is way to much whining about this subject and not enough action. We can't legislate everything in this country...

Posted by: jjtwo | September 13, 2007 7:34 AM

That's a fair concern, but shouldn't that really be sick leave, not maternity leave?

I do not consider childbirth to be a sickness. And getting the medical community to view childbirth as part of a healthy part of a woman's life is an uphill battle. So declaring that in order for men to be equal to women that childbirth be considered an illness is unproductive and unhelpful to the woman who will actually be giving birth.

Posted by: ChesapeakeBeach | September 13, 2007 7:44 AM

That's a fair concern, but shouldn't that really be sick leave, not maternity leave?

At a lot of companies it it. My company gives me six weeks of STD. Well, they don't even really give me six weeks because I have to take vacation for the first week to get it started. So technically, I get treated the same as someone who had an accident or surgery.

And, to be honest, I probably have it pretty good. I doubt the pregnant girl who served me lunch a few weeks ago gets six weeks off with her baby.

Posted by: Irishgirl | September 13, 2007 8:08 AM

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), if you have 12 months of service and are in a permanent position, you are entitled to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave (leave without pay) during any 12 month period for one or more of the following reasons:

Birth of a child and care of a newborn (within one year after birth);
Adoption of a child or care of a foster care (within one year after placement);
Care for spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition; or
Serious health condition that renders you unable to perform duties of your position.

This law is gender neutral.

Are you talking about paid leave, Brian?

Also, the primary reason that leave for the mother may be treated differently than leave for the father is that the mother is healing from the birth and if applicable, needs time to establish breastfeeding.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 13, 2007 8:14 AM

Sorry, that should be "the primary reason PAID leave is treated differently". I need some more java.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 13, 2007 8:17 AM

Brian,

"In fairness, I have heard of company policies that justify differential leave policies by claiming that extra leave for women is necessarily to account for recuperation from childbirth. That's a fair concern, but shouldn't that really be sick leave, not maternity leave? "

For adoptive mothers?

Posted by: hillary1 | September 13, 2007 8:26 AM

It does take a good 6 weeks to recover from childbirth, and dad really needs to be there for the first 2. The next 6 weeks are for bonding and breastfeeding. It would be nice if dad could then stip in for another 10 weeks so the child wouldn't have to go to daycare so young.

So, this is a thought I've had. Your OB will sign a note for medical leave for 6 or 8 weeks for recovery. Why don't pediatricians sign letters recommending babies stay with mom for another 6? Wouldn't this then be considered "medical," and the time off be considered sick leave? Surely there is an argument to be made that a 6 week old child is too young to risk coming into contact with rotavirus (boy, that was a fun one), etc. Do they do this for premature babies at least?

Posted by: atb2 | September 13, 2007 8:26 AM

"Dreadful" and "outrageous" are pretty strong words.
Do you really want to return to the 50s when pregnancy and childbirth were considered unemployable events?
I find it dreadful and outrageous that people undergoing cancer surgery and therapy who run out of sick leave are forced to take unpaid leave.
I find it dreadful and outrageous that parents of sick children, while allowed by law to take the time off to tend to them, are forced to take unpaid leave when their leave runs out.
Healthy parents of healthy babies should be grateful.

Posted by: gutlesswonder3 | September 13, 2007 8:54 AM

I'm a Mom who's in complete agreement with Brian and I like the Swedish system that establishes leaves for mothers and fathers both -- and Mom can't extend her leave by taking Dad's time. There is paid leave exclusively for Dads. Birthing and breastfeeding give women a biochemical bonding advantage (in most cases, not all) that Dads don't have. If anything, Dads need caretaking leave most of all.
I think there are terrible cultural pressures in the working world for Dads not to take parental leave, even when that's an option in the U.S. I'd love to see that change. Dads are really important!

Posted by: anne.saunders | September 13, 2007 9:03 AM

My company "allows" 6 weeks of short term disability for childbirth (8 for c-sec). The year I had my baby, a guy on my team had 2 knee surgeries. He actually got MORE short term disability that year than I did. Until companies give "maternity leave" that isn't just "short term disability" I don't really see fathers getting more paid leave. Maybe if the government actually CARED about family instead of just TALKING about family values, we could get a workable solution. Until then, "family leave" for men will just be one more thing to fight for when you get the job.

Posted by: maryltucker | September 13, 2007 9:03 AM

Right on target: "Maybe if the government actually CARED about family instead of just TALKING about family values, we could get a workable solution."

But at the same time, I don't think it's up to the government to dictate a company's policies.

FMLA *is* gender-neutral. Either men don't realize that (possible), most simply can't afford to take unpaid time-off simultaneous with their wife (likely), or companies are unsupportive of men using FMLA (also likely - and this one based on recent experience).

As one of the 1st males to use FMLA at my company (if not the *only* to date - a 30 year old company), companies should offer more paid time off.
Many companies combine "sick" leave with personal leave, then reduce the amount of overall leave...at a company getting about 20 days a year of leave - sick or personal, that should be increased (gender-neutral) to around 30-40 days a year. This would allow more opportunity for time off for whatever reason.

Posted by: robjdisc | September 13, 2007 9:20 AM

Brian, one problem with the sick leave concept: I haven't worked at a single place that offered more than 10 days of sick leave a year. So you really have to look at something like STD -- which is a reasonable approach, but not everyone has this coverage.

I have no problem if you want to encourage companies to offer STD, carve out the "medical recovery" part of pregnancy under that coverage, and then provide equal leave for moms and dads on top of that. But be careful what you wish for. If medical recovery is addressed under a standard 6-week STD policy, do you think companies are really going to say, "ok, that's the medical, now let's provide everyone another 6 weeks paid leave so they can have happy bonding home time with their precious new babies"? Or will they say, "ok, we've covered their medical needs, so that's taken care of"? You may well end up "equalizing" yourself back to nothing. (And even if you get some, you're still not "equal," because mom still gets that extra 6 weeks.)

Yes, dads should be given more opportunities to stay home with the kids. Yes, more paid leave all around would be a good thing. But the money has to come from somewhere. My top priority would be the people who don't even have medical insurance. Next would be paid leave for childbirth recovery (ie, 6 weeks). If we could even get those two items, it would really help a LOT of families who don't have anywhere near that now.

If someone wants to offer generous parental leave to attract employees, great. And if you want to push for more paid leave, fine. But at least recognize that having ANY paid maternity or paternity leave already puts you into the "pretty damn lucky" category.

Posted by: laura33 | September 13, 2007 9:23 AM

How do employer feel about a man who takes 6 weeks FMLA for the birth of a child vs the mother? It is as accepted as necessary to the well-being of the child or seen a a 6 week vacation? We all know it isn't but how do they honestly view it? While it makes life at home easier for the mother should that be the true intent of maternity leave for a father?
If making the transition easier for the mother then shouldn't a father be able to take leave when mom has the flu?

Posted by: gutlesswonder3 | September 13, 2007 9:29 AM

As a new mother, I can safely say that the maternity leave isn't really given so much to take care of the baby. It's to allow the mother to recouperate. That's why many maternity leave policies differentiate between a vaginal and cesarean birth. That is why mothers can claim FMLA relatively easy at this time and fathers have to validate who exactly they are taking care of in order to be able to claim that.
So that's why there are no policies for men. Their bodies are fine and haven't gone thru anything.
That being said, I think that REAL family leave should be given at a birth or adoption to give the family time to bond and get a routine worked out. And as everyone knows, a 'routine' doesn't exist till a baby is far older than 6 weeks. Some companies give 10, but it's unpaid. Many dual income families can't afford to be that long without a paycheck. Also, if you do extend past the 6-8 weeks the disability insurance company says you need, there can be career penalties. You become labled under "Mommytrack" and don't get anywhere.
I had enough trouble and I only stayed out 7--the insurance paid till 8 (I had a c-section). I was starting to get calls at home asking when, exactly, I was planning to grace them with my presence again. I'd been out sooooo long.

Posted by: dedeeboru | September 13, 2007 9:31 AM

"Why don't pediatricians sign letters recommending babies stay with mom for another 6? Wouldn't this then be considered "medical," and the time off be considered sick leave? "

Because it would be "medical" for the baby, not the mother. Most companies don't let you use sick leave if your children are sick, although some do. But generally those companies have better maternity/paternity leave policies anyway.

Also, all the posts about FMLA are forgetting that it only applies to companies with 50 or more employees, so a lot of people are not covered by it.

The bottom line is the leave policies should be gender neutral, but at a lot of companies - even those covered by FMLA - they are not. For example, when my wife had our daughter, she got 6 weeks of STD and then 12 weeks unpaid after that. A man can only take 12 weeks unpaid. Obviously a father has no reason to get STD, but they don't have the option to take those extra 6 weeks unpaid.

Posted by: dennis5 | September 13, 2007 9:33 AM

Oh, and my husband was able to stay with me during my leave, and even after. But that was the grace of timing.
He teaches and we had our baby during the last week of school. Since I had had surgery, he had little trouble convincing them he needed that week off to take care of me.

Posted by: dedeeboru | September 13, 2007 9:34 AM

"Dads are really important!"

Moms are even MORE important!

Posted by: ISquirtLikeOldFaithful | September 13, 2007 9:35 AM

robjdisc: "at a company getting about 20 days a year of leave - sick or personal, that should be increased (gender-neutral) to around 30-40 days a year. This would allow more opportunity for time off for whatever reason."

Playing devil's advocate: While I *might* agree with you philosophically, that's going to hurt the employer financially.

Let's assume that current employees work 1,840 productive hours per year. (By Government standards there are 2,087 hours in a typical work year. Less 20 days/160 hours of vacation/sick leave, that's 1,927. Less 10 Federal holidays, that's 1,847. Round it to 1,840, mostly because it makes calculations a little easier. :-) (Note also that I haven't accounted for "unproductive" time such as training, staff meetings, etc. - this is a simplistic analysis.)

So, now give every employee an extra 10 days/80 hours off. That's 1/23 of the productive hours (4.34 percent of productive time is lost, if you want it that way).

One possibility is that the employer now produces less of whatever it produces, whether that be "widgets" or "billable hours", which means it either has to raise prices or accept less total revenue and thus lower profits.

The other possibility is that costs are increased because more employees have to be hired to keep production at the same level. (In simplistic terms, one new employee has to be hired for every 23 current employees.) Which again means that the employer has to raise prices to keep profits at the same level, or just accept lower profits.

And so on. And so on.

We live in a world in which more and more companies are outsourcing tasks to places with skilled but cheap labor. Manufacturing goes to China, India, etc. Software development is done in India and Russia. (One former employer of mine laid of 35 programmers in North America and hired 200 in India for the same payroll cost.) Heck, some executives now outsource their "personal assistant" duties to folks in India. And you're proposing to raise costs and lower profits.

Again, as a devil's advocate: please explain why any sane employer would want to do this?

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 13, 2007 9:40 AM

I agree with those who point out that FMLA is gender-neutral.

Let's hear from those working in even smaller places -- how much paid/unpaid leave for childbirth are you getting?

Posted by: RedBird27 | September 13, 2007 9:45 AM

"Because it would be "medical" for the baby, not the mother. Most companies don't let you use sick leave if your children are sick, although some do. But generally those companies have better maternity/paternity leave policies anyway."

My company allows us to use sick leave to take care of sick dependents. It's not a vacation, after all. It has a standard FMLA policy, no maternity leave. The only pay you get is saved up sick and annual leave. Just sayin. Generous and not generous.

"For example, when my wife had our daughter, she got 6 weeks of STD and then 12 weeks unpaid after that. A man can only take 12 weeks unpaid. Obviously a father has no reason to get STD, but they don't have the option to take those extra 6 weeks unpaid."

I'm not understanding. Are you saying fathers should get 18 weeks of FMLA?

Posted by: atb2 | September 13, 2007 9:48 AM

"Again, as a devil's advocate: please explain why any sane employer would want to do this?"

Why do Fed employees get 26 Annual Leave days (per year) after 15 years of service? Why do they get 13 Sick Leave days (per year)? Why have there been a number of proposals in Congress to provide Paid maternity Leave to Feds?

There must be a reason...


Posted by: hillary1 | September 13, 2007 9:56 AM

Totally with you, Brian. Great blog.

Who at these wonderful companies are setting these biased, illogical and downright weird policies?

One company I worked for had a little caveat that men could only take paternity leave if their wives had returned t fulltime paid work. No allowance for a new mom having trouble, a stay-at-home mom with postpartum depression, an experienced mom with multiple kids who needed help, a dad who wanted to dive into parenthood, or the nine million other good reasons for paternity leave. Absolutely infuriating.

Haphazard paternity leave policies are obviously bad for dads. But they are also terrible for moms who are committed to working fulltime, because they place an undue burden on mothers are primary childcare givers. Plus they heap a lot of guilt on those mothers.

The private sector will continue to have a very hard time setting fair, objective, gender neutral policies. Because there is an obvious conflict of interest. This is one of those cases where government intervention, by people who know firsthand what it is like to work fulltime and raise children, is necessary.

Posted by: leslie4 | September 13, 2007 9:59 AM

@hillary: The report also details the leave available for adoptive parents. I'm not impressed by those figures, either.

@gutlesswonder3: You won't find me arguing a bit more paid sick leave is a good idea, too.

@all: Yes, the FMLA is gender-neutral, but taking three months off, unpaid, is tough for most people. Paid leave seems like it's a good solution, but the report suggests that -- for dads, anyway -- it's largely illusory.

@ArmyBrat: I think there a bunch of reasonable arguments against your devil's-advicate position. Most employees won't use all of their days. Businesses would improve rentention (it costs a lot to hire and train people). They'd probably see a bump in productivity, too ...

Posted by: rebeldad | September 13, 2007 10:00 AM

"By Government standards there are 2,087 hours in a typical work year. Less 20 days/160 hours of vacation/sick leave, that's 1,927. Less 10 Federal holidays, that's 1,847. Round it to 1,840, mostly because it makes calculations a little easier. :-)"


It can be more than that. Some folks in my office are on Administrative Leave today. My office is closed this year the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and New Year's Eve. No Leave slips required.

Why would an employer do that?

Posted by: hillary1 | September 13, 2007 10:02 AM

I kind of like the approach taken by my law firm. Essentially moms get 8 weeks of recovery for birth (paid leave) and then everybody (dad and mom) gets 4 (additional in the case of moms) weeks of paid "parental" leave. Twelve weeks paid leave for mom is pretty good especially since you can usually add a couple of additional weeks on top of this as "vacation". Same with dads.

I don't know how I feel about dads getting more than this. I have the same concern as laura, that by equalizing moms and dads what you will really be doing is getting rid of the recovery part for moms and just giving everybody 4 weeks. In short, equalizing will result in fewer benefits to moms, who honestly need it the most.

My DH gets 2 weeks paternity leave and will then take probably another week or so as vacation. I am thrilled that he is taking this much time off, but you know the person who will really benefit the most from Daddy being around - our other son, who will get extra attention from Dad while Mom cares for the baby. With our first child, DH didn't take much time off and while it would have been great to have him around, I don't think it was needed quite as much as it will be this time around...

Posted by: londonmom | September 13, 2007 10:10 AM

As an employment lawyer who regularly counsels companies on this issue, I feel compelled to weigh in. A common misperception among companies with less than 50 employees (and therefore not subject to the FMLA) is that they are free to devise paid maternity/paternity leave policies as they wish. What these companies do not realize is that another federal law, Title VII of the Civil Right Act (covering 15 or more employees) does impose restrictions on treating men and women differently in offering certain paid leave after the birth of a child.

As many posts indicate, the critical distinction is between child-bearing and child-rearing leave. Child-bearing leave is any leave needed by a mother due to the medical impact of pregnancy (i.e. bed rest leading up to delivery and recuperation following delivery). There is obviously no discriminatory impact with only offering this leave to women since only they can give birth. By contrast, paid child-rearing leave, if offered by an employer, can be used by an employee to care for a newborn or adopted baby, and Title VII has been interpreted as saying that you cannot treat men and women differently for child-rearing leave.

That is why I counsel my company clients do to away with the maternity and paternity monikers, since they do not adequately account for the distinction between child-bearing and child-rearing leave. Instead, a company can offer a certain amount of paid child-bearing leave only to women giving birth, and then offer a certain amount of child-rearing leave that would be available to both men and women to take after the birth or adoption of a child.

Posted by: dcl | September 13, 2007 10:13 AM

After you finish your serious comments, I have a new song to entertain you.
I just wish the radio would quit playing KC and the Sunshine band though!

Posted by: Songster | September 13, 2007 10:30 AM

londonmom,
Does your firm give the same benefits across the board (mailroom to partner) or is it limited to certain individuals?

Posted by: gutlesswonder3 | September 13, 2007 10:31 AM

Brian, agree with you about the counters to my devil's-advocate position. An enlightened employer doesn't do the simplistic analysis; they weigh the total costs and benefits to the company before making decisions about employee benefits, etc. Happy employees tend to be more productive employees (they produce more per hour, or they work more billable hours when they're in, or...); they tend to stay longer and it does cost to hire and train new employees.

On the other hand, there's no doubt that having an employee out on leave does cut productivity somewhat; otherwise that employee would be producing zero. So the employer does have to take that productivity cut into account, and then make an informed decision. It's never going to be as easy as "give everybody an extra 10 days off per year" because of the global competition, which is just a reality these days.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 13, 2007 10:33 AM

Brian, having recently given birth to a baby, I will tell you that it takes at least 6 weeks for a woman to being to feel human again. It then takes probably another several months to being to adjust to the hormonal changes that accompany the post-partum period. If a woman is breastfeeding, she's essentially tied to her child for as long as she chooses to nurse. But you know all this. There are simply medical reasons for women to have maternity leave. Yes, dads are extremely important in the parenting process and even in the care of newborns. But until they can get pregnant, carry and nurse the babies, I don't think that it's reasonable to suggest that they need parental leave equal to that of moms.

Posted by: amhass2002 | September 13, 2007 10:38 AM

My own recent experience was that despite the FMLA, men are strongly discouraged from taking more than a week or two. My original plan was to take the full 12 weeks after my wife had her 12 weeks, and I even bought some vacation time so that it wouldn't be totally unpaid. Yet when push came to shove, my boss gave me heavy, heavy hints that taking 12 weeks off just wasn't "advisable". Bottom line, attitudes in the workplace still aren't the least bit friendly to paternity leave. And don't even get me started on the ridiculous strictures a lot of companies put on maternity leave...

Posted by: mucus99 | September 13, 2007 10:42 AM

The problem, Brian, is that women and men are NOT the same. Childbirth is something special that women go through -- on top of going through all the things a man can go through, in terms of health (cancer, heart disease, etc.). So, no, simply lumping it into sick leave puts women at a significant disadvantage because they can still get sick just as much as men PLUS go through pregnancy and childbirth.

You need to acknowledge this or your argument is crap.

Posted by: rlalumiere | September 13, 2007 10:43 AM

"until they can get pregnant, carry and nurse the babies, I don't think that it's reasonable to suggest that they need parental leave equal to that of moms."

It's not about the dad having medical issues. It's about the BABY needing the dad to have extra time off. There is a WORLD of difference between 3 months and 6 months. I would have been MUCH happier if I could have taken 12 weeks right after my wife took 12 weeks, so that our son would have entered day care when he was 6 months old rather than 3. But we had to start him at 3 months, because that's the way it was.

Posted by: mucus99 | September 13, 2007 10:46 AM

Posting on behalf of a friend who can't get on right now:

"Child-bearing leave is any leave needed by a mother due to the medical impact of pregnancy (i.e. bed rest leading up to delivery and recuperation following delivery). There is obviously no discriminatory impact with only offering this leave to women since only they can give birth."

That is from an employment lawyer--as a sex-based discrimination lawyer I say that is not true! Take, for example, the reader who said at her firm women get 8 weeks of childbirth leave and then both sexes get 4 of childcare leave. HELLO? 8 weeks is not necessary for most typical births, even c-sections. (And if a mother needs eight weeks of leave to focus on her health, than dad ought to get the same eight weeks to watch the child.) That is gendered leave in the guise of being neutral and I think it is absolutely sexist. This is increasingly how companies are getting away with given women more than men and I think it is dangerous. As one of your readers said, it returns women into the home under the ruse that childbirth is some kind of debilitating event that must result in the removal of women from the workplace. That is terrible.

Posted by: rebeldad | September 13, 2007 10:47 AM

hillary: "It can be more than that. Some folks in my office are on Administrative Leave today. My office is closed this year the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and New Year's Eve. No Leave slips required.

Why would an employer do that?"

If you're getting more than 10 "holidays" (i.e., paid days off that are not part of any vacation/sick leave/etc.) more power to you.

That's how many Federal holidays there are, and I've rarely seen a company give more than that. They do change them, though - my current employer gives us off the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve (when those fall on Mondays), the day after Christmas/New Year (when those fall on Fridays) and Patriot Day. On the other hand, we DON'T get President's Day, Columbus Day, or Veteran's Day off (and some years we don't get MLK Jr.'s birthday off). The bottom line is that we get 10 days.

As to "why", it's because those days are more efficient for the company to close. Most people aren't going to be at work on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and those that are aren't going to be extremely productive, so you might as well just close. Similarly for a Monday Christmas Eve/New Year's Eve - the company's just being smart.

Patriots Day is because the company headquarters is in the Boston area, and a lot of employees are going to be out at the Boston Marathon/Red Sox game, so again - just close; it's cheaper.

(The 'close for convenience/efficiency' principle is applied by a lot of companies and even Governments. When I was going to school in Louisiana - the New Orleans suburbs - the public schools were always closed on Ash Wednesday. Not for the celebration of a religious holiday; but in recognition that a fair number of the students and faculty had been out all day and night the day before, celebrating Mardi Gras, and so precious little learning was going to get done that day.)

As far as Administrative Leave today - the Feds and a lot of companies allow people to take off on their religious holidays without using vacation as long as they make up the time. Since today is a holiday for at least one major religion, a fair number of people in my company are out today, but will work a different day or a few hours extra over the course of a number of days to make up for it. I'm not a lawyer, but I have to believe that letting people take off without penalty for religious observances, and then not letting non-religious people take off an equivalent amount of time, is just setting yourself up for a discrimination complaint.

(Some employers - including the Feds - do have a separate category known as "Administrative Leave" when you're excused from work for reasons related to company or uncontrollable issues. If you can't work because the power's out all day, that's billed to "Administrative Leave.")

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 13, 2007 10:47 AM

"On the other hand, there's no doubt that having an employee out on leave does cut productivity somewhat; otherwise that employee would be producing zero."

Gee, if it's all about productivity, the employer shouldn't give you any sick leave or vacation time at all.

Posted by: mucus99 | September 13, 2007 10:48 AM

Brian -- 8 weeks is the standard STD leave for a c-section. It's 6 weeks for a "normal" birth. Just wanted to add my two cents.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 13, 2007 10:50 AM

In the united states, women own every part of this society they want to, fathers are for one purpose and one purpose only, to provide the financial support for the child and the womans lifestyle.What part of la la land does this clown live in?

mcewen

Posted by: bryan | September 13, 2007 10:53 AM

"8 weeks is not necessary for most typical births, even c-sections."

Brian, what's the medical basis for your opinion?

My wife's ob-gyn completely disagrees with you, and he actually went to medical school.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 13, 2007 10:53 AM

A very few of us feds have an Admin Leave day today. Lots of VIPS at work and they didn't want us riff raff there. Aw gee. Breaks my little heart that I got to sleep in and can now do errands in the middle of the day.

Posted by: gutlesswonder3 | September 13, 2007 10:54 AM

Oops, sorry - missed the "posting for a friend" part - let me rephrase that as "What's the medical basis for the author's opinion?"

As WorkingMomX pointed out, the general standard is that it takes six weeks to recuperate from vaginal birth without complications; 8 weeks if it's a c-section. My wife's ob-gyn thinks that's actually at the short end.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 13, 2007 10:55 AM

Brian, the problem was londonmom posted that about the 8 weeks of sick leave for mom and 4 weeks for either parent. I think the rules in England maybe different then in the states. DC was talking about US law not international law.
hillary-I may be wrong and please correct me if I am wrong but OPM has recently stated that they have decided to NOT provide paid maternity/paternity leave because it was deemed not necessary to retain or attract employees.

Posted by: foamgnome | September 13, 2007 10:55 AM

"Gee, if it's all about productivity, the employer shouldn't give you any sick leave or vacation time at all."

Guess you missed that part about a happy employee being a productive employee.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 13, 2007 10:57 AM

Ummm...sorry, but 8 weeks is considered by the medical community as the amount of time necessary for women to recover from c-sections. Some women may feel back to their old selves before that, but that is what the medical community has determined is reasonable. Six weeks for regular birth. And I know Brian you were posting for somebody else, but I hope that somebody else wasn't a man, b/c if it was - how the hell would YOU know how long it takes for a women to recover from child birth. It really can take a long time.

Posted by: londonmom | September 13, 2007 10:58 AM

All of this begs the question, if US/Corporate policies are so biased against having kids, why do people keep having kids? Countries with notorious low birth rates (Japan: 9.96/1000, Italy: 9.13/1000) tend to put the US (14.2/1000) in the middle, and with much higher birth rates than all these countries that supposedly have family-friendly policies (UK, Sweden, France - all less than us).

I'd have to argue despite corporate/government support on parental leave, there's still considerable financial and emotional incentives for people in this country to reproduce. Until our birth rate starts declining and leadership gets concerned about it, I don't see policies improving for parents.

My question though is, even if you get equal parental leave for both fathers and mothers, how do you remain fair to people who choose not to or perhaps can not have children? My company offers a comprehensive leave package that includes both vacation and sick. I would think increasing leave across the country and having a minimum requirement of so much paid leave that is both sick and vacation would make this more fair. That way, both men and women get to use this leave as they wish for vacations or child rearing, and people who don't have kids aren't punished. Otherwise, what's the incentive? People don't stay with companies for life anymore. CEOs aren't inspired to hand over a lot of leave to a mother or father who might not even be with the company in another year. I also think offering 3 months of paid parental leave, say with the caveat that the employee has worked there x amount of time, is unfair to the employees who meet that requirement but will not have kids. So while I agree it needs to be gender equal, it also needs to be human equal, no need to reward parents just for reproducing as that's not very difficult to do!

Posted by: _Miles | September 13, 2007 11:07 AM

New dads in my office (large state organization) typically take a week off when their wives give birth, then work reduced hours for another week or so. Few actually invoke FMLA; they just use their accrued sick or vacation leave. I've got nearly six months of accrued paid sick leave available so my leave time is not a concern.

My wife, however, works for a small private firm with barely 15 employees. When she becomes pregnant, she would only have the few "leave days" to use that they provide her annually. Anything after that would obviously unpaid leave, and since there are no other women in the office who've had children (I said it was a small office), we've got no precedent to look at.

Posted by: johnl | September 13, 2007 11:10 AM

ArmyBrat

"That's how many Federal holidays there are, and I've rarely seen a company give more than that"

I work in a Fed office. We get paid leave for more than the "offical" Fed holidays.

Posted by: hillary1 | September 13, 2007 11:11 AM

"HELLO? 8 weeks is not necessary for most typical births, even c-sections."

Brian, unless your friend has a medical degree, he/she is full of it. If that was your experience, more power to you; I'm glad everything was so simple and easy for you. But disparaging everyone else because you hit the childbirth jackpot is pretty much crap.

Posted by: laura33 | September 13, 2007 11:11 AM

Obviously having and caring for children is important. Not everybody has children. Most everybody has parents who are aging. IMHO it could be equally important to be able to care for them in their "golden years" which are frequently not so golden. You rarely hear people advocate "aging/sick parent" leave.

Posted by: gutlesswonder3 | September 13, 2007 11:12 AM

"8 weeks is the standard STD "

Really, 'cause when I got the herpes, they told me it was for life :(

Posted by: bababooey668 | September 13, 2007 11:24 AM

"I work in a Fed office. We get paid leave for more than the "offical" Fed holidays."

Hello, OPM?

Seriously - Federal employees are supposed to get their appropriate amounts of annual and sick leave, plus approved Federal holidays (subject to work schedule - some people have to work on Labor Day for example.) Agency heads (or designees) and of course the President do have the authority to grant additional leave. For example, it's recently been the custom to grant Federal employees a day off in mourning on the death of a former President. (Not that their necessarily in mourning, but still...)

Often, Presidential Inauguration Day is given as a day of Administrative leave for folks who work in DC because it's such a logistical mess.

As gutlesswonder3 pointed out, sometimes Agency heads grant administrative leave in special circumstances, such as when the visit of a bunch of VIPs makes it impractical for a number of employees to get to their workspaces/do their work. And of course, when it snows heavily, or the power's out, or there's some other special circumstance, the Agency head can make the call to grant additional time off.

(And I'm not talking about people who work compressed work schedules, such as 9 hours per day, 5 days one week and 4 the next, so they get every other Friday off. That's not "leave" because you're working the required number of hours.)

But it sounds like you're bragging that your Agency head is granting lots and lots of extra time off for no particular good reason; he or she just feels like it. That's a good way to get hauled before Congress to explain why he or she enjoys wasting the taxpayer's money. And I know of no Agency heads who enjoy that experience.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 13, 2007 11:33 AM

"IMHO it could be equally important to be able to care for them in their "golden years" which are frequently not so golden. You rarely hear people advocate "aging/sick parent" leave. "

I thought FMLA applied in this category; our Personnel department has said it did, anyway.

Posted by: johnl | September 13, 2007 11:34 AM

FYI, FMLA applies when an employee wants to care for a sick or elderly parent.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 13, 2007 11:37 AM

ArmyBrat

"But it sounds like you're bragging that your Agency head is granting lots and lots of extra time off for no particular good reason; he or she just feels like it"

Noo, I'm pointing out that you are waay out of touch with Fedworld and that the leave rules of your ancient youth don't necessarily apply today in every situation.

The OPM threat is high school...

Posted by: hillary1 | September 13, 2007 11:40 AM

There are (or should be) at least three distinct types of leave. One is the type of leave that should be available on the birth or adoption of a child. I call it "bonding leave." The second is the leave that is medically necessary as a consequence of giving birth. Even if you have a picture perfect, at home, no-meds delivery, your body still has a period of time (I think it's about 6 weeks) to start to return to the new version of normal. That leave would only apply to those who give birth. Finally, in those circumstnaces where it's necessary, there should be leave to care for a sick child or spouse.

I would like to see all parents have the same access to "bonding leave," and to leave to care for an ill family member. (Those in larger companies all do have access to FMLA.) I'm quite comfortable that only women should have leave to recover from the physical effects of childbirth.

Posted by: rdaszkiewicz | September 13, 2007 11:42 AM

Actually, females should have more leave and easier access to leave than men for a whole host of reasons I won't get into here. But I agree that companies should offer women more leave options.

Posted by: minzesm1 | September 13, 2007 11:48 AM

Re It which posted here Wednesday that It used to be bababooey666:
http://www.sexualforums.com/talk/showthread.php?t=11251&page=2

Posted by: mehitabel | September 13, 2007 11:49 AM

"Re It which posted here Wednesday that It used to be bababooey666:
http://www.sexualforums.com/talk/showthread.php?t=11251&page=2"

So what? Ms. Hall Monitor?

Posted by: hillary1 | September 13, 2007 11:53 AM

People have a right to know what It is.

Posted by: mehitabel | September 13, 2007 12:00 PM

If birthing is a medical condition that requires six weeks of recovery, why was I back on my feet chasing my toddler 24 hours after giving birth to my youngest? I'd have recovered better at my desk at work!

Posted by: anne.saunders | September 13, 2007 12:05 PM

Ah, noontime, lunchtime! Songtime!

No apologies to KC & Krew for this blast from the past modified for your gastric enjoyment!

Oh, that's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
You write it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
You write it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
You write it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
You write it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
When I take pen in hand,
I'll tell you you're my blogging man,
When you give me all your words,
And do it the very best you can,
Oh, that's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
You write it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
You write it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
You write it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
You write it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
When I get to the OB board,
When we're all alone,
When you whisper snarks in my ear,
When you really turn me on,
Oh, that's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
You write it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
you write it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
You write it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
You write it, uh-huh, uh-huh.

Tomorrow, something from Dire Straits!


Posted by: Songster | September 13, 2007 12:07 PM

"I'm not understanding. Are you saying fathers should get 18 weeks of FMLA?"

No. I'm saying that even though the FMLA law is gender neutral, companies that fall under it don't always have gender neutral leave policies.

Posted by: dennis5 | September 13, 2007 12:12 PM

"Again, as a devil's advocate: please explain why any sane employer would want to do this?"

Because having more friendly leave policies can significantly reduce employee turnover. Depending on which study you listen to, it costs companies around $10,000-$20,000 to replace an employee.

I'm sure we can all fudge the numbers however we want, but the bottom line is that while giving extra paid time off does cost employers money, it can also save them money because of reduced turnover.

Posted by: dennis5 | September 13, 2007 12:17 PM

This topic is so shopworn and beat down that I jumped myself!

Posted by: nonamehere | September 13, 2007 12:24 PM

We all know that Dads don't count - why should they get any leave at all. It's all about women and Moms.

Posted by: RBCrook | September 13, 2007 12:32 PM

Leslie, I hear you callin
But I cant come blog right now
Me and the kids are playin
And I just love their sound
Just a few more hours
And I'll be right home to you
I think I hear them callin
Oh, Leslie what can I do
Leslie what can I do

You say your blog feels so empty
That the WAPO just aint a home
And Im always somewhere else
And youre always at on balance alone

Just a few more hours
And Ill be right home to you
I think I hear them callin
Oh, Leslie what can I do
Leslie what can I do

Leslie, I know youre lonely
And I hope youll be alright
cause me and the kids will be playin
All night


With all apologies to KISS and Peter Criss in particular

Posted by: pATRICK | September 13, 2007 12:55 PM

Bababooey, very funny!

Old Faithful, nice to see you again. I would recognize you anywhere. But truly, I am glad you are still around.

Posted by: Emily | September 13, 2007 12:55 PM

What is this? Dueling Parodies? Just wait to you sing along with my Dire Straits song tomorrow!

BTW, you don't have to apologize to KISS for anything, music wise.

Posted by: Songster | September 13, 2007 1:01 PM

"What is this? Dueling Parodies? Just wait to you sing along with my Dire Straits song tomorrow!

BTW, you don't have to apologize to KISS for anything, music wise. "

Never heard of these "artists", so I won't be singing along...

Posted by: hillary1 | September 13, 2007 1:04 PM

I thought what Brian wrote about being "ready" to go back to work after c-section and vb was just a little garbled...his intention seemed clear, that both timeframes were a) somewhat arbitrarily set and b) minimial.

For all three kids I took about 12 weeks of maternity/sick leave. I remember noting at 6 weeks that there was NFW I could go back to work after just six weeks.

On a physical level I could barely walk upright, after being pregnant, giving birth, breastfeeding, and not sleeping for more than two hours at a time. My body had been through hell.

On a psychological level, my maternal hormones were in mega drive and I found it hard to be 10 feet from my infant for five minutes to take a shower, much less 10 hours to go to work.

I think Brian was kind in describing maternity leave policies in this country. He called it outrageous. I call it barbaric.

Posted by: leslie4 | September 13, 2007 1:06 PM

Is it time to send the FMLA hourse to the glue factory yet?

I suppose it wouldn't hurt to give it another whipping since it's been beat to death a long time ago.

Posted by: GutlessCoward | September 13, 2007 1:08 PM

Ah, Hillary,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB3b1W6rEDw

Have a listen!

Posted by: Songster | September 13, 2007 1:10 PM

I think Brian was kind in describing maternity leave policies in this country. He called it outrageous. I call it barbaric.

Spoken like a true limousine liberal Leslie, perhaps your hero Obama will mandate 20 week paid maternity leave........And if small businesses go under and people get laid off, at least you got to go to Oprah's shindig and meet your "hero"

Posted by: pATRICK | September 13, 2007 1:11 PM

Hillary probably is more attuned to Lil Jon and "Get Low". More her speed

Posted by: pATRICK | September 13, 2007 1:14 PM

Oh my gosh are you serious? Yes dad's should get some time off, but women really need 6 weeks to recover at a minimum; more if they've had a C-Section.

If we want to "get real" about it, three months off would be best for women. Espically if you are breast feeding. When my sister had her child, she took her 6 weeks and then all of her vacation so she could squeek out an extra 2 weeks.

When I was visiting her, she explained that in everything she read it was best for the baby to not switch to a bottle until about three months as developmentally it is better for the baby. So she worried that she would have to make the switch a month earlier.

With all the changes that a family goes through when a baby arrives, it is really atrocious that such little time is given for the adjustment to either parent.

Posted by: glurj | September 13, 2007 1:16 PM

Songster

"Ah, Hillary,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB3b1W6rEDw

Have a listen!"

Dang! No speakers, but I'll have a look.


Posted by: hillary1 | September 13, 2007 1:32 PM

When older son was born, a 'crash' c/s (more serious than an 'emergency' c/s), I needed *more* than eight weeks to recover, but that was all the time I had before I was back at my desk.

DH had quit his job, because our plan was for him to be the SAHP. So, I had to go back to work and start bringing home a paycheck again.

After younger son was born, a pretty typical labor and delivery, I was feeling pretty much recovered three weeks after the birth, but I still had the typical 5-6 weeks of the uterus reducing to a non-pregnant condition.

Every birth and every woman's delivery is going to be a bit different. The standards for leave are about right for the majority of women having babies, but that doesn't make them perfect for every individual. I don't know how to legislate the kind of flexibility that I think is necessary, or even if it's possible to achieve it through legislation.

I know that I desparately needed DH home with me to take care of *me* after the c/s. This was before FMLA, and I'd been with my employer less than a year, so our family was just lucky that we could squeak along without DH's paycheck, and with only 60% of mine coming from CA state disability.

I don't let myself think about what might have happened if my baby had been in worse shape after the birth (he was out of NICU in about 4-6 hours instead of 24, because his crying and screaming made it obvious that his lungs were fine, and all the racket was disturbing the premies who *needed* to be there), or if the infection in my incision hadn't responded quickly to antibiotics, or if my baby had had a bad reaction to those antibiotics crossing into my milk.

I don't know the answers to fathers taking leave for their newborn or adopted children. It would have been great for us if DH had had a paycheck, or any sort of income, but since he wasn't going back to work afterwards... We've all heard complaints about new mothers who take every benefit and every bit of leave they can - before informing their employer that they won't be coming back.

Perhaps medical advice and medical need should be bigger factors in determining how much time new mothers get to take off - and fathers don't have the medical need for their own bodies, but sometimes they're *needed* at home because of the mother's medical needs.

On the subject of non-parents not getting the same breaks as parents (at least mothers) get - I think my employer sees parental leave as an investment in the future. Kids are future customers - well, my kids are currently customers of the financial services company that employees me, with savings accounts in their own names. Chances are they'll be student-loan customers when they're college age, and if [major finacial services company that I'm not permitted to name because I'm not in PR] provides good service when the boys are young, they could be lifetime customers. That's potentially a pretty profitable relationship for the company, certainly worth the minor investments of my two leaves.

My coworkers who don't produce children won't be adding to the next generation(s) of potential customers, so they don't get the same benefits that I did. It's always about the bottom line, and since the company is more than 150 years old, they're thinking about the next 50-100 years instead of just the next quarter.

Posted by: sue | September 13, 2007 1:39 PM

"WASHINGTON -- The New York Times dramatically slashed its normal rates for a full-page advertisement for MoveOn.org's ad questioning the integrity of Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.

Headlined "Cooking the Books for the White House," the ad that ran in Monday's Times says Petraeus is "a military man constantly at war with the facts" and concluded -- even before he testified before Congress -- that "General Petraeus is likely to become General Betray Us."

According to Abbe Serphos, director of public relations for the Times, "the open rate for an ad of that size and type is $181,692."

Click here to read the full story in The New York Post."


More proof of the liberal media bias.

Posted by: pATRICK | September 13, 2007 1:42 PM

More proof of the liberal media bias.

Posted by: pATRICK | September 13, 2007 01:42 PM

Patrick is more proof of the yee haw get r dun bias

Posted by: dctony | September 13, 2007 1:52 PM

"My coworkers who don't produce children won't be adding to the next generation(s) of potential customers, so they don't get the same benefits that I did."

Right. And what about any neighbors or friends those childless coworkers convince to use your company's financial services? How's that any different?

Posted by: justhere4beer | September 13, 2007 1:59 PM

"My coworkers who don't produce children won't be adding to the next generation(s) of potential customers, so they don't get the same benefits that I did."


Where's my benefit for NOT producing screwed-up kids who suck up resources?

Posted by: hillary1 | September 13, 2007 2:06 PM

Here's one from Aerosmith, Dream On, with credits to Faithful's wife:

Everytime I log on to Onbalance
I want to impress you with my debating talents
But the post is gone
It just died, when Matt went on and on
By the way
Everyone just wants something to say.

Yeah, I know nobody knows
Why people think Leslie's comments blows
I know how you grin
When she touts her liberal, feminist spin

Half my day
I read pATRICK 's rages
The snark lives on and it's quite contagious
You know it's true
Leslie and Brian haven't a clue

Blog with me, blog for the smear
Blog for the laughter, blog for the jeer
Blog with me, I just have to say
Maybe tomorrow, WaPo will ban Baba away

Yeah, blog with me, Emily dear
Blog for the laughter, have no fear
Blog with me, I just have to pray
That Next week, Brian will have something new to say.

Blog On Blog On Blog On
Blog until your point gets through
Blog On Blog On Blog On
You have nothing better to do

Blog On Blog On Blog On
Blog On Blog On
Blog On Blog On

Blog with me, blog for the smear
Blog for the laughter, blog for the jeer
Blog with me, I just have to say
Brian hosted another boring one today

Blog with me, blog for the chear
Blog for the laughter, then go for a beer
Blog with me, I just have to say
Maybe tomorrow, WaPo will ban me away...

Posted by: ISquirtLikeOldFaithful | September 13, 2007 2:07 PM

Just wanted to weigh in on the six week/eight week recovery for pregnancy.

I am 33 weeks pregnant and have not slept in the last week or so it seems between peeing, the baby moving, etc. I am already exhausted and am looking forward to being able to recover from just being pregnant, let alone having this baby.

With my last baby I ripped, had an episiotomy and six weeks after that almost died from a gall stone, so I beg to differ with anyone who says that women do not need those weeks to recover. The way I feel, is that if any man could give birth and go through all this crap, they would want their six weeks too.

So Brian if you friend is a woman whose episiotomy didn't itch, whose hemorrhoids didn't hurt, whose breasts didn't ache and who wasn't exhausted, then good for her she is one lucky girl. If she is a he, then I think perhaps he should be quiet.

Posted by: Irishgirl | September 13, 2007 2:18 PM

Where's my benefit for NOT producing screwed-up kids who suck up resources?

I can break your knee for you and then you could go out on STD.

I kid, I kid!

Posted by: Irishgirl | September 13, 2007 2:20 PM

Whenever leave comes up it the US culture around it always seems a bit petty to me.

I think that's because there it really does come out of the company pot, and because leaves are so short, it impacts on coworkers ('cause no one is going to hire someone for 6 or 12 weeks).

In Canada there's federally funded leave for mothers (15 wks) and for whichever parent wants to take it (35 wks). It's not a whole whack of money - max is around $1700 a month; it's 55% of salary up to there. But it is a fair amount. Still, lots of families don't take the whole leave for whatever reason - money, needing to stay current in both careers. It's a choice, not a requirement.

The 15 wks is related a bit more to mother's health, but the public perception mostly is that the leave is for the BABIES, not the parents. The cultural assumption is that giving families time to adjust to having kids, or more kids, means in the end fewer expensive problems like CPS services, early childhood intervention, and justice issues.

Whether that is borne out or not I could not tell you, and I doubt anyone really could, but that's the perception - that we're saving on lower incarceration rates than the US.

There's also caregiver leave - 6 weeks, but it is there. It's designed to give people enough time to find a long-term care facility or hospice or whatever, I think.

Both those come out of the EI money, which is also used for (un)employment insurance, and for retraining grants. People who are unemployed a lot benefit more too, although after a certain point they are expected to pay back some of the employment insurance money, which means frequent users pay more... not for babies though.

As I said, it's seen as a benefit to the babies, not to the parents. And Canadians squawk less about "fairness" - I think we are a people who are less optimistic about never ever needing services we might otherwise vote away.

When I was a manager I liked the (then) 9 months of leave because if one parent took it, it was a lot easier/more worth my while to find a competent person for 9 months (or a year) than it was to cover just say, 10 or 12 weeks.

Posted by: shandra_lemarath | September 13, 2007 2:23 PM

ISquirtLikeOldFaithful

Please learn how to spell!

Posted by: hillary1 | September 13, 2007 2:36 PM

I certainly think our culture should be more health/fulfillment focused rather than results/productivity focused. This includes more leave and "humanity" for everyone.

But when Leslie says "the more paid leave offered for the birth of a child, the better," I wonder at how much cost? Willing to not get the juicy projects for a year or so after the birth? Willing to not get a raise for a year or two? Willing to lose pace?

There's so much on this blog about what moms do and don't get in the workforce- but there has to be a balance. If you take something away, there will be a consequence.

Posted by: EmeraldEAD | September 13, 2007 2:39 PM

(for Hillary)

To the tune of Scrubs by TLC

Sub is a name that don't get respect from me
And I like to beat down with great glee
Always talkin' about what he wants
And mostly speaking out his ass
So (no)

I don't want your addy (no)
I don't want to give you mine and (no)
I don't want to read you nowhere (no)
I don't want none of your lines and (no)

[Chorus:]
I don't want no subs, no sirree!
A sub is a guy that can't get no comments from me
Hanging out on pATRICK's side
While all the time just tryin' to slide
Trying to shout out to me
I don't want no subs
A sub is a guy that can't get no words from me
Hanging out on Matthew's side
Hanging there just to be and
Trying to holler at me

But a sub is shouting to me
But his words are kinda' weak
And I know that he cannot approach me
Cuz I'm reading some class and he is showing his ass
Can't get wit' no deadbeat ass
So (no)

I don't want your addy (no)
I don't want to give you mine and (no)
I don't want to read you nowhere (no)
I don't want none of your lines (no)

[Chorus]


[Chorus]

[Chorus]

[Chorus]

Posted by: Songster | September 13, 2007 2:51 PM

Where's my benefit for NOT producing screwed-up kids who suck up resources?


Posted by: hillary | September 13, 2007 02:06 PM

If we're working at the same job and making the same salary, your benefit is that you don't have the same expenses that I have. You get to spend your salary on whatever you choose for your own benefit and enjoyment, while I spend mine on supporting those potential future customers, my offspring.

Hey, maybe I should ask for a raise!

Posted by: sue | September 13, 2007 3:02 PM

"I think Brian was kind in describing maternity leave policies in this country. He called it outrageous. I call it barbaric."

Please skip the hysterics. Female circumcison is barbaric. A policy is unfair.

Posted by: gutlesswonder3 | September 13, 2007 3:17 PM

" we're working at the same job and making the same salary, your benefit is that you don't have the same expenses that I have. You get to spend your salary on whatever you choose for your own benefit and enjoyment, while I spend mine on supporting those potential future customers, my offspring."

So what?

Posted by: hillary1 | September 13, 2007 3:28 PM

Female circumcison is barbaric. A policy is unfair.

Posted by: gutlesswonder3 | September 13, 2007 03:17 PM

HA! I thought there was no point in reading this rehash of a rehash today, but gutlesswonder3 has managed to put this retread in perspective.

Posted by: MN | September 13, 2007 3:33 PM

"If we're working at the same job and making the same salary, your benefit is that you don't have the same expenses that I have."

Sue that is not a fair assessment of a work benefit for Hillary. It's not her fault that you have more expenses than she does, just like it's not my friend's fault that I have student loans and she doesn't. Now, if you wanted to say that STD and FMLA are available for her as well, then that is a fair assessment.

Posted by: Irishgirl | September 13, 2007 3:33 PM

hillary,

"Noo, I'm pointing out that you are waay out of touch with Fedworld and that the leave rules of your ancient youth don't necessarily apply today in every situation."

Okay, you win. I'll concede the point. Unlike the halcyon days of my employment there, Fedword is now an organization where leadership bestows unlimited vacations on its employees, who spend their few actual workdays on Washington Post blogs hurling lame insults at others - and nobody cares.

*Sigh* I'm old; I long for the days of pride in your work and understanding of the importance of your job to the nation.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 13, 2007 3:34 PM

MN, I'm with you! I admit to searching for lyrics today only. rehash of a rehash indeed.

Scarry - 33 weeks already? Where has the time gone? I did love feeling the baby move. It is one particular part of pregnancy I miss...

Posted by: dotted_1 | September 13, 2007 3:37 PM

ArmyBrat

*Sigh* I'm old; I long for the days of pride in your work and understanding of the importance of your job to the nation.

Stop being a know-it-all and live in the present.

Posted by: hillary1 | September 13, 2007 3:45 PM

hillary, are you talking to yourself in a mirror again?

Posted by: dotted_1 | September 13, 2007 3:48 PM

Stop being a know-it-all and live in the present.

Posted by: hillary | September 13, 2007 03:45 PM

Physician, heal thyself.


dotted: I liked feeling the baby move, but then I had to worry about the exit strategy.

Posted by: MN | September 13, 2007 3:53 PM

"Stop being a know-it-all and live in the present."

Oh, do tell how I should do that. I long for your guidance, Hillary, since I obviously know nothing about being successful at work, or raising kids, or running youth sports programs, or being a private pilot, or a skydiver, or teaching college, or any of the other things I do, today and every day.

So, please, tell me, how can I live in the present? Since this is the "On Balance" blog, please give me and the others some constructive advice on how to balance our lives in the way that you obviously do.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 13, 2007 3:54 PM

exit strategy..he he he...good one, though only those finished with delivering babies can probably laugh.

ArmyBrat - you inspire me with your patience

Posted by: dotted_1 | September 13, 2007 4:08 PM

"I admit to searching for lyrics today only" Dotted

Yup, came here for the comments but stayed for the lyrics! Not much that I see as Fred Quoteworthy today. Perhaps tomorrow!

Posted by: Fred | September 13, 2007 4:32 PM

Fred,

You and I are "searching for lyrics in all the wrong places". I know it doesn't scan

Posted by: dotted_1 | September 13, 2007 4:37 PM


"Fred,

You and I are "searching for lyrics in all the wrong places". I know it doesn't scan"

Going back for a moment to the "Beth" parody - the trick trivia question is, what was the name of Peter Criss' wife?

(Criss wrote the song "Beth" for his wife. So everyone assumes that his wife was named Beth. Not so - she was named Lydia. It didn't fit - try replacing "Beth" with "Lydia" and see how the flow is disrupted.)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 13, 2007 4:46 PM

I'm with you Irish Girl (scarry, yes - I'm not always around so I have gotten all the new names mixed up). I'm 32 weeks pregnant, still working more (in fact much more) than most of my colleagues (not pregnant, mostly men) and can't sleep - between the typical pregnancy ailments and the fact that my beloved DS has decided that sleeping is optional.

I'm looking forward to my paid ML and will need every day of it to recover!

Posted by: londonmom | September 13, 2007 4:55 PM

ArmyBrat....ummmm, I guess the only thing to say is.....you rock! (???)

lydia? oh, that doesn't scan at all

Posted by: dotted_1 | September 13, 2007 5:02 PM

ArmyBrat....ummmm, I guess the only thing to say is.....you rock! (???)

lydia? oh, that doesn't scan at all

Posted by: dotted_1 | September 13, 2007 5:02 PM

ArmyBrat....ummmm, I guess the only thing to say is.....you rock! (???)

lydia? oh, that doesn't scan at all

Posted by: dotted_1 | September 13, 2007 5:02 PM

why did that post three times?

Posted by: dotted_1 | September 13, 2007 5:03 PM

Sue that is not a fair assessment of a work benefit for Hillary. It's not her fault that you have more expenses than she does, just like it's not my friend's fault that I have student loans and she doesn't. Now, if you wanted to say that STD and FMLA are available for her as well, then that is a fair assessment.

Posted by: Irishgirl | September 13, 2007 03:33 PM

Why is it unfair? We each made a choice - I choose to have kids, and received an employer benefit of leave for each kids's birth. Hillary chose not to have kids, and not to receive the same employer benefit. Because of our different choices, one of us has more disposable income than the other.

Same thing would apply to your student loan example. I chose four years of military service, got 75% of my college tuition paid by the military, and didn't have to take out any student loans. So, because of my choice, I have more disposable income than the person who financed their education with student loans, but I gave up control of my life for four years.

Each choice has benefits and detriments. Honest comparisons of these aren't unfair.

I have an unfortunate tendency to forget that what's obvious to me isn't necessarily obvious to everyone. Yes, STD and FMLA are available whether an individual chooses to take advantage of them or not. I thought that was so obvious that it didn't even need to be said. So, thanks for making a good point.

Posted by: sue | September 13, 2007 5:09 PM

Have those of you that chose to have a child and are complaining about their company's leave policy ever considered the impact of this leave on the company? There are direct (lost time, cost of paying for leave) and indirect (increased health care premiums, increased workload on the remaining employees) that cost real money. In effect, the employer subsidizes your CHOICE.

Posted by: martinajess | September 13, 2007 8:07 PM

Shhhh. I've stolen the creepy van (tm). I hearby give the keys to gutlesswonder3, for bringing the blog back to reality with this gem:

Please skip the hysterics. Female circumcison is barbaric. A policy is unfair.

GW3, please have the creepy van(tm) back at Fred's house by morning.

Posted by: vegasmom89109 | September 13, 2007 8:07 PM

vegasmom89109 - I came in to do a final email check....you crack me up!

now is my cracking up barbaric or unfair? Only my hairdresser knows...

Posted by: dotted_1 | September 13, 2007 9:50 PM

I don't thik women get enough time off after having a child. Not only do their bodies go through an incredible experience, their emotions and harmones go through a lot also. American firms and agencies are so busy making a buck, they ignore people's welfare for profit. 6 weeks is way too short for a woman after having a child. I will get to the Dads in a minute. International organizations in the U.S. offer new mothers 90 days, 3 months, 12 weeks of PAID maternity leave. Double what American firms offer. Having a child is a life changing event for Fathers also. I am glad that some firms recognize that by providing working Dads two weeks of PAID paternity leave. It is sad they all do not. America offers its employees little leave in general. We are the all work and no play society. I think you should automatically have 3 weeks of leave/vacation from your start with a firm or agency and after 5 years of service you get an increase to 4 weeks and after 15 years of service, you get an increase to 5 weeks. More time off to recover from working major projects may make us more productive if not at lease increase quality. It also allows working parents to spend some real time with their children societys most important asset!

Posted by: ajackson3 | September 14, 2007 10:36 AM

I am so sick of men that whine about how unfair the world is. Try being a woman and spending your entire career making 77% of what some others make just because they've got an extra piece of equipment you don't have.

Tell you what, Rebeldad. I'll start supporting your efforts to get men equal newborn leave just as soon as I'm paid the same as a man and not 77% of it. Deal?

Posted by: sundance99 | September 14, 2007 10:58 AM

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