Presently, in California and nationally a significant issue is being re-addressed: family leave. A young mother working at a company with a fairly generous family paid leave policy just sent a letter to President and Mrs. Obama. Her situation was that at three months of age, her new baby had to go to daycare so the new mother could return to work, her leave having expired. The first day she left her baby reluctantly at the chosen daycare, her three-month old mysteriously died. Besides now trying to deal legally with the daycare facility, the new mother is now seriously advocating for a national policy on paid family leave which will allow new mothers and fathers at least 6 months—1 year paid leave to nurse their new infants before having to return to work. Mrs. Obama has joined in that advocacy.
Most corporations in the USA do not grant paid family leave currently, and states do not generally require it. Current federal legislation suggests it, but does not require it either, although virtually every other developed Western country does.
1. Is this an issue of human/natural rights or civil rights in the U.S.A.?
2. What part of the U.S. Constitution do you think best applies in this situation?
3. Currently, what federal and California state laws apply to paid family leave?
4. If you were to become involved in advocating for the change in the laws sought by the young mother, how would you participate?
5. Is this a valid public policy issue that should be addressed by the candidates now in the running to be the next U.S.A. president? Why or why not?
6. Is this a generic issue or one that would impact white families differently than blacks or Latinos/as
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