President Trump’s 2018 budget could make big changes to maternity leave

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — With President Trump’s 2018 budget being announced Tuesday, May 23, families could see some changes to maternity leave policies, including a push to create a federally-funded paid leave program.

Right now workers in the United States get up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave time for births or adoptions but only if the company employs at least 50 people and the parent has worked there for at least a year.

The U.S. is currently the only developed country that does not guarantee moms and dads one single day of paid time-off when a new bundle of joy is welcomed into their world.

White House budget officials are reporting the Trump Administration is planning to push for some paid leave.

One Colorado Springs mom FOX21 spoke to says it could be a step in the right direction, but we’re not there yet.

“I don’t think 6 weeks is enough,” said mother of two Nella Dagnillo.

She stayed home with each of her boys for the first 12 weeks.

Dagnillo said, “I felt that it was an important bonding time and my company allowed it and they were completely happy to do it, I just wasn’t paid for the whole time.”

With the help of his daughter Ivanka, President Trump’s proposal includes a childcare tax credit and 6 weeks of maternity leave protection, extending unemployment insurance benefits to working families whose employers do not offer any paid leave.

But some companies are already upping the time for moms and dads to take off.

“USAA will allow all eligible parents so that’s by birth or adoption up to 12 weeks of full paid time-off to spend with their new addition to the family,” said Ken Fortune, Vice President of USAA of Colorado Springs.

According to Fortune, this new policy starts July 1. He says not only is it because the company values families, but better benefits also attract employees.

Fortune said, “If we take care of our employees, the employees are going to take care of our members and the members are going to take care of our company so that’s why we feel it’s important to take care of our employees.”

The Trump Administration’s proposed policy is expected to benefit about 1.3 million people and comes with a price tag of about $25 billion over 10 years.

Dagnillo says it’s well worth it and long overdue.

“I mean, we’re raising the next generation so I think people and businesses should take that into account when they’re evaluating how much time they’re allowing their mothers to bond with their babies and their children and allowing them time off when their children need them,” said Dagnillo.

Details of this proposal are still being worked out through negotiations with congress. But, most congressional Republicans have opposed similar proposals from Democrats.

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