Opinion: Small Charities Should Lead by Example in Paid Parental Leave
Excitement. Nervousness. Joy. Fear. Anticipation.
Those were the emotions I felt as my husband and I welcomed our daughter Norah into the world.
I couldn’t have imagined the rush of emotions I would feel or that I could have so many thoughts at once. One thing I wasn’t thinking about, however, was whether I would be able to juggle my job as CEO of Challah for Hunger, a Philadelphia nonprofit, and my new role as mother. This was because our organization has a comprehensive paid parental-leave policy.
I am extraordinarily lucky. While an overwhelming majority of Americans — both Democrats and Republicans — support paid parental leave, only 12 percent of nongovernmental employees work for a company that provides paid parental or family leave.
Given how good paid leave is for children, parents, and employers, this is an embarrassment. The United States has spent far too long languishing at the bottom of the list of countries that provide comprehensive maternity- or parental-leave policies, and it’s time the federal government made this a priority.
Yet a comprehensive national policy likely wouldn’t cover someone like me — an employee of a small nonprofit or a small business.