Ted Stevens Wants Businesses To Pay Women To Take 8 Weeks Off To Have A Baby

This is a terrible idea, made even worse because the sponsor of the bill is pork king, Ted Stevens:

Senator Stevens Introduces Legislation to Provide Flexible Leave for Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has introduced the Family Leave Act (FLA), legislation designed to provide improved flexibility for federal employees after childbirth and adoption. The Family Leave Act would update and improve the Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA) passed by Congress in 1993.

FMLA presently guarantees that mothers, fathers, and adoptive parents are given 12 weeks of leave for childbirth and newborn care. However, this law does not require paid leave during this period. Senator Stevens’ FLA legislation would provide at least eight weeks of paid leave for a mother after childbirth, while requiring a minimum of one week of paid leave for fathers and adoptive parents who work for the federal government.

From the moment the Family Leave Act was passed, people have been predicting that the day would come when Congress wouldn’t be able to restrain its socialistic urges and would try to force businesses to pay for the leave.

As is, the FLA is an enormous burden on businesses that’s highly abused because it requires businesses to allow an employee to take 3 months off not just for childbirth, but for “illness,” without being replaced. By the way, there’s a reason I put quotes around “illness.” I used to work somewhere where we had an employee who took 3 months off every year, for 3 straight years, because she was “sick.” Then, when she reached the maximum number of days allowed by law, she’d come back, right as rain, and there was nothing that the company could do about it. Fortunately, she got a little too lazy and stayed out past the 3 months deadline on her last FLA vacation and got fired. Given that I was one of the people doing part of her work while she fired, I was pleased to see her go.

But, back to FLA. Businesses are not piggy banks and when you put them in a position where they have to hold a slot open for a person who wants to take 3 months off, hire a temp to fill his/her job, and then force them to pay the salary of the person taking time off, it’s a huge expense and inconvenience. Moreover, if they force businesses to give paid leave, guess what? The number of mothers taking at least 8 weeks off will skyrocket. Heck, why not take two months off if you’re going to get paid to do it and the company can’t legally fire you?

You want to add large new costs onto businesses that may significantly hurt the economy? You want to see a big decrease in productivity? You want to give businesses a reason to do everything in their power to find ways to avoid hiring women under 40? Then pass this socialistic bill — actually, don’t pass it. And if it does get passed, then hopefully, George Bush will veto it. Cross your fingers.

Update #1: From the comments section:

“When the original family leave act was passed, a friend of mine who was in a Senior H.R. position was appalled. She could not, and I mean COULD NOT risk putting young, talented, well-educated women on a mainstream management career track because of it.

What was she to do if they reached a critical position and decided to exercise their right to this leave? Hire a temp? If the job had real management-track potential, a temp couldn’t do it.

The damage to the company would have cost her her rather excellent position, as well.

In order to juggle the PC hiring “quotas” she was forced to put new college grads of child-bearing age in redundancy-guaranteed areas, low-importance positions, pools, and so on. She also upped the hiring of older women to keep the numbers right.

She later confided that she had been warned especially to watch for hispanic and other “Catholic” (I presume Irish, Italian, etc.) female surnames as they are more likely to become pregnant due to religious strictures on birth control(!).

Ceilings, glass, marble and other. Pelosi didn’t crash through them. She will probably be instrumental in installing the beryllium-titanium armor drop ceiling of all time.

Sad, really.” — heldmyw

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