Other countries offer their working parents family and medical leave that is of longer duration and at least partially paid. The U.S. is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet we are amongst the 112 countries (out of 145) that do not provide paid leave away from work to care for adult family members.
Paid time off is a publicity stunt. Most companies know that their best employees aren't going to take advantage of it. And by leaving the policy open and "up to the employee" managers are now creating a different kind of competitive environment, one that encourages taking less time off, rather than more.
This week, Joe Biden said no, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee said no more, while Hillary Clinton endured 11 hours of Benghazi hearings aimed more at finding attack ad soundbites than facts. Meanwhile, Paul Ryan threw his hat into the ring for Speaker, but only after telling his House-mates, "I cannot and will not give up my family time." Bravo! It's a big moment when a political leader says that when he's about to take a big job rather than as a euphemism for being fired. Now Ryan should work to make it possible for all Americans to experience more family time. In the past, Ryan has opposed paid family leave, allowing America to remain the world's only developed country without it. So, as he seeks to unify the GOP caucus, he should also fight for family-friendly policies at a time when the country really needs them.