Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Facebook offers 4 months paid family leave to all new parents; in DC, many residents object to a new payroll tax or premium to pay for the benefit

OK, first, here is the “Campaign for Paid Family Leave’s” on page on Facebook, linkTime (story by Julia Zorthian) reports that Facebook is expanding its offer of paid family leave to all associates to four months, all over the world (it would do it in China if allowed to be there), link here. This includes people in same-sex relationships taking on adopting a child, and now treats fathers and mothers equally. Mark Zuckerberg created a “stir” by announcing he would take two months “leave” (when his connection to the office is one room away) when his wife Priscilla (herself a pediatrician) gave birth to a daughter.

But in Washington DC, there’s another stir.  Aaron C. Davis and Scott Clement report the DC residents support a proposal for mandatory paid family leave (for DC residents), but do not think employees should have to contribute with a payroll tax (rather resembling unemployment insurance), link here.  One feature is that city residents who reverse commute to Maryland and Virginia would also pay the tax (I wasn’t aware of this, so it’s more than just a payroll tax).
The measure has mixed support politically, but many conservatives have said it will hurt small business I the area.

Again, a lot of people support paid family leave when “society” pays for it, as in Europe.  There’s a message here:  there really is an expectation that grownups, gay or straight, should expect to take on the responsibility for raising children (even other people’s) if they want to be treated equally.  That’s a turnaround from 20 years ago, when the singles and childless were criticized for their discretionary income and lower debts.

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