Should parents get six weeks of paid leave?

“Gov. Mark Dayton dove Tuesday into the national debate over parental leave benefits, announcing a proposal to give state employees six weeks of paid time off after the birth or an adoption of a child,” reports MPR News’ Brian Bakst.

Dayton said he’ll include $6 million in funding for the proposed benefit as part of a budget package he’ll release early in the 2016 legislative session. The governor’s office said all of the 35,000 state employees would be eligible for the benefit which would amount to an average of $6,200 in wages if they would have had to forego pay. State figures show it probably would be used by 500 workers in any given year.

“For far too long, we have forced tens of thousands of hard-working parents to make an impossible choice: to spend time with their newborn or recently adopted child, or earn the money they need to care for their families,” Dayton said.

The Democratic governor stopped short of recommending a new law requiring the benefit be offered by all Minnesota employers but argued the state would be leading by example. Some of the lawmakers who joined him at the Capitol press conference said they intend to make a broader push.

Today’s Question: Should parents get six weeks of paid leave?

  • Gary F

    This sure looks like its a reward to all the union government employees that help him and the Democrats get elected.

    I can’t wait until the Friedrichs case gets decided by the Supreme Court this summer.

    • Ralphy

      I’d bet that Friedrichs -v- CTA goes in favor of the CTA.
      With Antonin Scalia’s passing, the expectation is the court will split 4-4. In that case, the last court’s ruling will stand (the union won).
      If President Obama nominates a successor (he absolutely should – as long as he is the POTUS it is his responsibilty), and assuming that he nominated someone less conservative than Scalia, then if confirmed, the SCOTUS is likely to vote 5-4 in favor of the union.
      I don’t see a likely scenario coming out in favor of Friedrichs. Do you?

  • kevins

    Six weeks is too little. When oh when will people understand that early experiences affect the trajectory of the rest? If you want great adults, start with great moms, dads and the commitment to parenting that early bonding enables.

    • Pearly

      Start your own business and never have pride time off again.

      • kevins

        What’s pride time off?

        • Pearly

          Correct

          • kevins

            Oooh well den, dat makes sense.

          • Pearly

            paid

          • David P.

            Thanks for the clarification.
            I Love Auto-Correct.
            Regarding having your own business and no more paid time off, the same is true for sick time and vacation. I don’t believe their is anyone discussing the parental leave policy including self-employed.

        • Ruckabumpkus

          Maybe he meant “pried time off,” as in, it’s one of those things that has to be pried out of employers, because they won’t do it out of the goodness of their hearts.

  • whitedoggie44

    Like all mandates, citizens should understand this is not a benefit without broader economic consequences. If, as a matter of public policy, this benefit is extended to both public and private employees, the consequence is lower economic growth and higher unemployment. There is not a single country on this planet that provides this parental benefit that has almost zero economic growth and high unemployment. If that is an acceptable trade off for voters, fine.

    • Ralphy

      I’m sure you are confident in your projected economic impact of a parental leave policy. I’m not sure where you found the study to support that conclusion. I found several studies that found positive and negative outcomes to said policy, but the net was a societal and economic benefit in all reports.
      Indeed, of all the member countries of the OECD, the United States is the only country without a paid leave policy. In the entire world of developed countries we share that distinction with Swaziland, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and Oman. Taking this into consideration, I respectfully disagree with your claim “There is not a single country on this planet that provides this parental benefit that has almost zero economic growth and high unemployment.” (Assuming a typo, and that you intended to state that …every country that provides this benefit has almost zero economic growth…)

      • whitedoggie44

        My data is correct and you are attempting to utilize non economic reasons to support you case. When you mandate these benefits, the money does not just materialize out of thin air. it must be shifted from other resources within a corporate budget.

        There is no question GDP growth and employment growth suffers as employers do not survive when they can’t convert revenue to profit

        If you would like to live in your dream world, be my guest but this is not realty

        • David P.

          I’m curious as to why so many Fortune 500 companies offer paid parental leave (Google, Goldman-Sachs, Bank of america, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson – to name but a few). I’m sure they have done the math, but somehow came up with a different answer than you.

  • David P.

    Only if we, as a society, desire stronger families, healthier relationships, better work-life balance and more productive employees contributing to a stronger economy.