On Sunday night’s episode of Last Week Tonight, just in time for Mother’s Day, John Oliver tackled the subject of paid family leave. More specifically, the lack of paid family leave, as the United States is the only other country in the world aside from Papua New Guinea that doesn’t provide paid time off for new mothers.
In fact, to even be eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid family leave, new mothers have to be a full-time, salaried employee working for a company, for at least a year, of 50 or more employees. This leaves a staggering 40 percent of workers ineligible for even unpaid family leave. Those moms who are fortunate enough for unpaid family leave often have to cobble together vacation and sick time, or go back to work far earlier than they’re prepared, if they can’t afford to take the time off.
It’s a sh*tty way to treat new mothers. As John Oliver reasons, until we as a country do something to address this, and lawmakers are willing to push through legislation to help families, the only message we should be allowed to send on Mother’s Day is: “We’d do anything for our moms, up to, but not including, paying them to stay home for awhile after pushing a human being out of their body. But we do want to say, thank you.”