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Mothers In The Workplace Essay

1307 words - 5 pages

Today more than ever before American women are finding themselves in the workplace and trying to balance the responsibilities of motherhood and the responsibilities of employment. In having to work mothers face many problems that could be easily resolved by more policies , regulations, and involvement of the federal government. With the revision of such policies as health care, maternity and family leaves, and childcare children of today would be better equipped for the twenty-first century.Healthcare is one such problem facing the soon to be American working mother of today. With the average cost of a normal vaginal childbirth upwards of $4,500 a substantial insurance policy is necessary (Kidding 193). However, until 1978 when the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed there was very rarely any assistance offered through typical insurance policies found in the workplace. This new act did require that maternity insurance had to be as generous as the disability insurance offered on the same plan but the act did not set a direct policy on the availability or cost changes of the insurance. Issues and responsibilities of cost and availability were pushed from the legislation of the federal government onto that of state governments (Kidding 194). This pushing away of responsibility by the United States government makes mandated maternity benefits unlikely to greatly or quickly increase. The state of Vermont has come to realize the problem however and has passed some state regulation like many others. This regulation (89-1 maternity coverage) states that insurance for women should be comparable in price and in coverage including maternity benefits. Vermont regulation 89-1 goes on to make exceptions on coverage during pregnancy illness, birth complications, cesarean section births, and miscarriages (Vermont). These exceptions are unfair and in my opinion go against the whole concept of having insurance in the first place.Human mothers learn to recognize their own babies in the days right after birth and gradually fall in love. Since babies return the favor, the baby's attachment to the mother further reinforces her commitment (Hrdy 116). By this statement it is easy to see that these days just after birth are essential to the mother-child development. This brings us upon yet another problem pressing the working mother, maternity and family leave. What about the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993? It enacted a mandated job benefit: companies with fifty or more employees must allow up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave to any employee who wants it for a family emergency, childbirth, or adoption (Kidding 195). This explained unpaid time off suggest problems in the use of leave for economically vulnerable women. Again further regulation in the affair was pushed away and left to the responsibility of the individual states. A study in Minnesota, the state with the highest rate of female labor force participation, examined the duration of women's childbirth...

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