Finland just gave fathers 7 months of paid family leave while 85% of all Americans still get zero

The U.S. is the only industrialized country without a federal paid family leave policy.

The Family Medical Leave Act, passed in 1993, says that employers must let new parents take up to 12 weeks off, but there is no guarantee of getting paid.


Currently, the District of Columbia and nine states have laws offering paid family leave, Washington, California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, Washington, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Oregon.

New laws in Connecticut and Oregon are waiting to go into effect.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics said that just 15% of private industry, and state and local government workers had access to paid family leave as of March 2017.

Paid family leave has been a big issue among the 2020 Democratic candidates with most favoring up to 12 weeks.

President Trump called for paid family leave in his State of the Union Address, but his plan is misleading. It allows new parents to collect a portion of their future child tax credits early in exchange for smaller payments down the road.

While people in the United States are fighting for this basic family need, the people of Finland are working to strengthen their programs for both mothers and fathers. Finland's woman-led center-left government has decided to give new fathers seven months of paid family leave, the same number allowed for women.

Women in Finland also get a paid month off at the end of their pregnancies.

Minister of Health and Social Affairs Aino-Kaisa Pekonenvia YLE puhe / Twitter

Minister of Health and Social Affairs Aino-Kaisa Pekonen said that the "radical reform" was created to increase the country's declining birth rate and to create greater gender equality.

"This enables better equality between parents and diversity among families," she continued.

"Over a longer term, it also improves equality in working life and in wages by directing fathers to use a larger proportion of parental leaves than before," she said.

Sweden goes even further with family leave than Finland.

The Swedish government says that parents of both sexes are entitled to 16 months of paid family leave at 80% of their salaries. Plus, there are extra days added if the parents have twins.

Dads are required to take some of the 480 days allotted to the family and the paid days don't expire until the child is eight years old.

The difference in how Finland and the United States treats their citizens says a lot about the country's values as a whole. We hear a lot about "family values" from politicians in America, but things would be a lot different if they actually valued family.

via Pexels

A new Gallup poll found a significant increase in the number of Americans who identify as LGBT since the last time it conducted a similar poll in 2017.

The poll found that 5.6% of U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. That's a large increase from the 2017 poll that had the number at 4.5%.

"More than half of LGBT adults (54.6%) identify as bisexual. About a quarter (24.5%) say they are gay, with 11.7% identifying as lesbian and 11.3% as transgender. An additional 3.3% volunteer another non-heterosexual preference or term to describe their sexual orientation, such as queer or same-gender-loving," the poll says.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less

As the nation helplessly watches our highest halls of government toss justice to the wind, a 2nd grader has given us someplace to channel our frustrations. In a hilarious video rant, a youngster named Taylor shared a story that has folks ready to go to the mat for her and her beloved, pink, perfect attendance pencil.

Keep Reading Show less
via wakaflockafloccar / TikTok

It's amazing to consider just how quickly the world has changed over the past 11 months. If you were to have told someone in February 2020 that the entire country would be on some form of lockdown, nearly everyone would be wearing a mask, and half a million people were going to die due to a virus, no one would have believed you.

Yet, here we are.

PPE masks were the last thing on Leah Holland of Georgetown, Kentucky's mind on March 4, 2020, when she got a tattoo inspired by the words of a close friend.

Keep Reading Show less