+
More

We're one of the only countries where new mothers don't get paid time off. John Oliver looks at why.

"Paid maternity leave is a bit like having hockey on in the background at a bar. It's not hurting anyone, and a couple of people are actually really into it."

In his latest in a long line of epic segments, John Oliver made the case for paid family leave on "Last Week Tonight."

The whole thing is worth watching, but if you don't have the 12 minutes to do so, I've recapped it below.

The United States is one of very few countries in the world without any form of paid time off for new mothers.


Here in the U.S., new mothers are not guaranteed any paid time off after giving birth. However, they are able to take unpaid time off. While that's better than nothing, not all mothers can afford to forgo a paycheck, especially with a newborn.

As part of the Family and Medical Leave Act, employees can take that unpaid time off — if they meet some rather restrictive criteria.

FMLA only applies to people who have worked for the same employer for 12 months, have logged at least 1,250 hours in the past year (an average of at least 24 hours per week), and work for a company with more than 50 employees within 75 miles of the worker's location.

Also, this doesn't apply to contractors, freelancers, or employees at small businesses (fewer than 50 workers).

In 2013, NPR reported that this leaves roughly 40% of the workforce without even FMLA coverage.

Family leave is important to fathers, too. Sadly, the idea that women take care of the children while men work has made the prospect of paternity leave a challenge.

Because, you know, in some families, both parents work. In others, the mother works while the father stays home. Or it's a family with two mothers. Or a family with two fathers. Or ... well, you get the picture.

Society's one-size-fits-all, old-school approach to parenting just doesn't cut it anymore.

As an example of what happens when a father dares to take leave from work to be with his newborn child, Oliver pointed to Daniel Murphy of the New York Mets.

At the very start of the 2014 season, Murphy's wife went into labor with the couple's first child, their son Noah. Like most loving husbands and fathers, Murphy wanted to be there. To do this, he had to miss the first two games of the season (out of 162, mind you).


Daniel Murphy giving up two games of 162 doesn't seem like asking too much. Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images.

Critics came out in full force to criticize Murphy, including former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason and radio talk show host Mike Francesca.

Murphy handled it as well as could be expected. He even spoke at the White House Working Families Summit.

"When Noah asks me one day, 'What happened? What was it like when I was born?' I could have answered 'Well, [Washington Nationals pitcher] Stephen Strasburg hung me a breaking ball that day, son, and I slammed it into the right-field corner.' But I think it's going to go so much further in that I'm the one who cut his umbilical cord. And long after they tell me that I'm not good enough to play professional baseball anymore, I'll be a father. And I'll be a husband. So that was a reason on the front end that I wanted to be there for my wife and for my son." — Daniel Murphy

But let's get down to the real question: Why do we have such a flawed system? Simply put: lobbyists and legislators.

Oliver broke it down, showing what debates on the floor of the House of Representatives looked like in 1993 as FMLA was being discussed.

Now mind you, this was just to get the current, restrictive, 12 weeks of unpaid leave system in place. We haven't even touched on paid leave.

Did FMLA destroy the American economy as Reps. Ewing, Pryce, and DeLay predicted? No.

Other things may have but not FMLA.

What happens to the economy when we actually take it to the next level — paid leave? Pretty much nothing.

Like the FMLA, a California law offering partial paid leave managed to not destroy the state's economy.

Oliver sums it up best, pointing out the hypocrisy of being overtly, publicly "pro-mom" but then folding when it matters most.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


Keep ReadingShow less

Trevor Noah announces he's leaving "The Daily Show."

Soon, "The Daily Show" will have a new face with a different style of delivering the news in a way that takes a bit of the sting away. Comedian Trevor Noah delivered some unexpected news to his live studio audience, and I'm sure I'm not the only one having some big feelings about it. Noah announced that he will be leaving "The Daily Show" in pursuit of other things, including doing more standup.

Keep ReadingShow less
popular

Woman left at the altar by her fiance decided to 'turn the day around’ and have a wedding anyway

'I didn’t want to remember the day as complete sadness.'

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Keep ReadingShow less