Yahoo! Leans In By Doubling Maternity and Paternity Leave

Yahoo! CEO Marrissa Mayer received a lot of beef after she prevented her employees from working from home two months ago. Critics accused her of being anti-family, anti-woman and unsympathetic to employees with children or sick loved ones.

Although moms and dads will still have to kiss their kids goodbye in the morning, a new parental leave policy will allow them to take double the amount of time they can take off after the birth of a child. Yahoo employees have seen their maternity leave jump from 8 to 16 weeks and their paternity leaves increase to eight weeks. Parents with newborns (and new pets?!) will also be given "Yahoo-branded gifts" and a $500 stipend in expenses for their "daily habits" like "laundry, house-cleaning and child care."

Rachel Sklar, writer and founder of The Li.st, told NBC Bay Area, "It's a smart move." It's not only good for the company's public relation strategies, it's also a way for them to retain talented employees. 

"It suggests a long-term strategy. This is a great precedent," Sklar continued.

The company is now on par with other Silicon Valley gurus such as Facebook and Google, both of which offer attractive parental leave schemes for their employees. Facebook still leads the pack by offering a 4-month paternal leave package for both mothers and fathers with a newborn.

The United States is well-known for the draconian status of its maternal leave policies. As it stands, the law only guarantees a new mother 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Any female employee who hasn't been working at the same company for at least one year isn't even eligible for this meager maternal leave.

If you're wondering about the laws involving paid maternal leave in the US, they don't exist. The U.S. is one of four countries in the world without any law supporting paid maternity leave. This makes it stand on the same footing as Liberia, Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland, the other three countries without any paid maternity scheme. When it comes to parental leaves, the U.S. is literally a Third World country.

If you're not convinced, I'll just leave you with this infographic crafted by Huffington Post comparing the U.S. with countries such as Turkey and India, who are doing dramatically better than us.


For more on moms, dads and everything in between, follow @feministabulous on Twitter.

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Elizabeth Plank

Elizabeth is a Senior Correspondent at Mic and the host of Flip the Script.

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