Many US employees with newborn babies struggle with the thought of leaving them home to return to the workforce. According to Wikipedia, “[T]here is no right to paid or unpaid leave to care for a new child” for the majority of US workers. And the United States is one of the only countries in the world that “has not passed laws requiring businesses to offer paid maternity leave to their employees.”
That’s why more and more states are working to pass bills that would encourage workers to return to the office sooner and with more support. States like Arizona and Washington have instituted “Infant at Work” programs that allow infants to go to work with parents employed by the state.
Now California, the most populous state in the country, is joining in the effort. This “take your baby to work” bill would allow parents to bring their infants into the office for the first six months of life. In turn, parents would be able to continue earning a paycheck while strengthening the bond with their children at this crucial time in their lives.
“If passed, state employees would be allowed to bring their infants to work in order to promote parent-infant bonding time and breastfeeding. Babies would need to be between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 months, or until the infant is crawling (whichever is earlier), and get medical clearance from a physician and a surgeon.
“Currently, the California Family Rights Act allows eligible employees to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid protected time to care for a child born to, adopted by, or placed for foster care with an employee. Other laws allow new moms to get time and a private space to pump breast milk.”
As more and more parents are allowed to care for infants on the job, the idea is not without its critics.
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