Intel Wants You To Bond With Your Baby

The technology giant joins other white-collar U.S. businesses offering expanded family leave time, as President Obama makes it a priority.

Photo via Parent Map Magazine

Technology giant Intel announced on Friday that new parents will receive eight weeks “bonding” leave, in addition to their existing policy of 13 paid weeks of maternity leave, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Both mothers and fathers can take advantage of this bonding leave time, which can be used any time within the first year after the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of the child.

The new paid bonding leave has the potential to retain and attract female employees. For instance, in 2012 after Google was concerned that it was losing talented women, it lengthened its paid maternity leave from three months to five and its attrition rate was cut in half. More broadly, paid family leave helps keep women in the workforce and even bring more into it.

However, technology companies and other white-collar jobs are the exception, not the rule to the rest of the United States. A BLS survey of “business, management, and finance” workers found that 26 percent get paid parental leave of some sort. Beyond Google and Intel, Instagram, Reddit, and Facebook offer new mothers and fathers 17 paid weeks; Yahoo offers new mothers 16 paid weeks and new fathers eight. In contrast, Bloomberg Businessweek reports that only 6 percent of service workers get any type of company family leave, paid or unpaid, leaving restaurant employees, sales clerks, and hotel staff little opportunity to both work and care for newborns.

While the across the job spectrum there are a variety of parental leave policies, the United States as a whole is woefully behind in comparison to other countries. Unlike 185 other countries, the U.S. doesn’t require companies to offer paid maternity leave, and 70 countries also require paid paternity leave. Three states have taken matters into their own hands and passed different programs to ensure family leave benefits. While the federal Family and Medical Leave Act requires some employers to offer 12 unpaid weeks, less than half of the workforce is covered by it. This is because the FMLA only applies to fulltime workers at companies with more than 50 employees, leaving out freelancers, contract workers, entrepreneurs, and people who work at small businesses

In the two states that do have paid family leave program policies, businesses report that the policy hasn’t hurt their success and many have even seen benefits like lower attrition rates.

Last week, President Obama highlighted the necessity for paid sick leave in the United States and called for a new proposed law, the Healthy Families Act, which would allow federal employees to take up to six weeks of paid sick leave (which could also cover issues related to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum), even if they have not accrued that much time off yet, the Washington Post reported. President Obama also met with three women, ranging in demographics and job industries, to discuss the importance of paid leave. After the meeting, he said:

"And by adopting this working families agenda, thinking about how we can provide more flexibility to families, thinking about how we can make sure that moms and dads don't have to choose between looking after their kids and doing what they need to do at work, thinking about all those families that are now trying to care for an aging parent -- that kind of flexibility ultimately is going to make our economy stronger and is just one piece of what needs to be a really aggressive push to ensure that if you work hard in this country then you can make it.”

UPDATE: President Obama made family leave a critical component of his State of the Union address on Tuesday. You can watch his speech here, start at the 17:45 mark to see his remarks on paid leave.

Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

Keep Reading Show less

September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less