Our View

Simpson should offer maternity leave to its employees. The time off after a pregnancy is really important for a new mother and father, and the employer should make every accommodation possible. This would benefit the college far more than it would cost it.

The United States, in general, lags far behind most other countries regarding maternity leave. According to the Professional Women’s Network of the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Mangers, Australia (APESMA), most other countries around the world offer some sort of paid leave for women who have had a baby. In the United Kingdom, they offer 90 percent of pay for the first six weeks and then it goes to a flat rate for the remaining time. In Poland, they offer 100 percent of pay for all 16-18 weeks on leave.

In the Americas alone, we are the only country that doesn’t offer some sort of paid leave for women after a pregnancy. Lesotho, Swaziland, Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea are some of countries that do not offer any paid leave, but these are still far in the minority.

There has been a push in recent years to incorporate some sort of leave for new mothers in the U.S. In 1993, we passed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to give people job protection while they had to take leave, but it still is unpaid and doesn’t cover those who work for smaller companies. Many individual states have passed laws that provide for families after a pregnancy, yet Iowa currently only follows the requirements set forth by FMLA.

Simpson has the ability to set their own policy regarding the leave employees can have when they have a baby. The college has the opportunity to be one of the forerunners in Iowa who consider more than the dollars and cents when it comes to family.