Last night, John Oliver did a killer segment on the lack of paid family leave after the birth of a child in the United States. We hear a lot of politicians spouting off about family values these days, don’t we? Oliver said, “You can’t go on and on about how much you love moms but fail to pass legislation that makes life easier for them.” Unfortunately, many “family values” politicians show little respect for mothers and their need to have a paid leave in order to recover from childbirth and spend time with their newborns.
Inae Oh (Mother Jones) wrote, “As families gathered to celebrate Mother’s Day yesterday, John Oliver took to ‘Last Week Tonight’ to address the issue and show why current federal law allowing just 12 weeks of leave, all of which is unpaid and extremely limited, forces countless new mothers back to work or in jeopardy of losing their jobs.”
Colin Gorenstein (Salon):
Oliver explained that while there are a few laws in place to help working mothers and guarantee unpaid maternity, these laws don’t apply to nearly 40 percent of women in the workforce.
During his segment, Oliver said, “Mothers shouldn’t have to stitch together time to recover from childbirth the same way that we plan a four-day weekend in Atlantic City.”
German Lopez (Vox) said that Oliver was “right that America’s maternity leave policies fall far short compared with the rest of the world.” Lopez said that the “US, in fact, is the only wealthy country that has no nationwide paid leave policy for mothers at all…” As proof, Lopez posted the following map from the UCLA World Policy Analysis Center:
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Paid Family Leave (HBO)