American Mothers Deserve Paid Maternity Leave

Target: United States Congress

Goal: Require employers to give paid leave to new mothers and other employees in domestic caregiving roles

American households no longer follow the strict gender roles of the mid-20th century. Women make up half of the American workforce and two-thirds of all families are supported by female breadwinners, yet most employers have not managed to accommodate the needs of working mothers. In fact, the United States is now the only advanced economy that doesn’t guarantee paid leave when workers need to care for their families. It’s time that American mothers and other caretakers got the respect and financial security that they deserve from their employers.

A new proposal from the Center for American Progress outlines a plan to modernize social security and provide for working caretakers. Social Security Cares would require employers to provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave following the adoption or birth of a child, the serious illness of a close family member, or the worker’s own serious illness. Qualifying workers would no longer have to choose between their career and their loved ones. Mothers would no longer have to worry about jeopardizing their jobs in order to start families. Instead, all American families would be able to enjoy the security already provided by modern nations across the globe.

Requiring employers to provide paid leave after the birth of a child isn’t just good for American families–it’s good for America’s economy on the whole. Instead of firing new mothers who opt to take time off from work, companies could retain valuable employees who also happen to be parents. By avoiding the process of hiring and training new employees, employers would save both money and time.

Policies similar to those proposed in Social Security Cares have already been proven effective around the world and in California. It’s time the rest of the country caught up. Urge Congress to enact Social Security Cares by signing the petition below.


Dear members of Congress,

Around the world, modern nations have proven time and time again that healthy, functional societies begin with basic respect for the family. Yet here in the United States, new mothers and other caretakers are often asked to sacrifice their wages and their careers simply to have children or care for an ailing relative.

Mothers are now breadwinners in two-thirds of all American families, yet many don’t enjoy the basic benefit of taking time off to spend with their newborns. It’s time that America caught up to the rest of modern society. I urge you to enact Social Security Cares and help families maintain job security even while caring for their loved ones.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Krista Guenin via Flickr.

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43 Signatures

  • Darlene Roepke
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  • Ann Blank
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