Mama Pay

Oh, boy, here comes Obama again making me pay for other people’s choices!  This time around he would like all workers to pay for other workers to stay home for 12 weeks, paid, while caring for their new born babies—paid maternity leave.  A worker can use this for their first baby, second, third… 19th, and so on.  Each time for 12 weeks.

I have to say, I’m not usually a big fan of Obama and his love of creating a welfare-entitled country, but I’m a big fan of this. Obama’s proposed plan will be paid through another employment tax on workers, basically $.02 per $10 (which means if you make $50,000 a year you’ll be paying $100 per year).  I love how politicians love to use crappy marketing tricks to make it seem like nothing. It’s only 2 cents! Per $10! And we dumb Americans go, “Well, golly, geez, that ain’t much!”

I’m done having babies, I think. So, this doesn’t impact me personally. I do, though, have a workforce that is in the prime baby-making years!  In the past five years in my office we have had 8 HRU babies, between the men and women in my office.  Most took the full time off, even though we don’t pay them to be off.  Some did come back early, because of financial constraints.  I didn’t like that.  I’m a firm believer that moms and dads have this very tiny window when your kids will be a newborn baby, and you should cherish every single minute of that!

I do think it will be tough on many companies, but as Obama and his team love to point out, America is the last developed country not to offer paid maternity leave.  I’m not a big fan of “everybody is doing it, so we should, too,” but in this instance, we should, too!  I say “tough on companies,” not because they’ll be paying for it—they won’t.  It will be tough because it’s a change.  Right now, with formal government maternity pay program, many people have babies and come back to work as soon as they can. When you’re being paid to be on leave, you can bet most will take the full time off.  Companies will adjust.  My company does this often, and we are always fine.

It’s funny how we all support various things in our ideology.  I hate government telling me what I have to do as an employer.  I believe in a Capitalist environment—employers will get there on their own in order to maintain competitiveness.  Our reality, though, is that businesses in the U.S. have not stepped forward on this issue, so while it’s hard for the Republican in me to accept this, it’s the right thing to do—and a popular thing to do politically.

Like all policy proposals, there will be a bit of hashing out the specifics before we really know what we’ll end up with. I wondering why we stop at Mama Pay and don’t make it a paternity policy.  If we are going to make a change, let’s do it right, and not half-ass. Why, again, should my government decide for me, who gets to stay home for my family? What if my wife is a business owner, and we decide I should stay home for those 12 weeks and take care of the baby? Much debate on this issue to come, I believe.

I’m wondering, will this policy have an impact on your business, and if so… how?  Hit me in the comments.


FOT Background Check

Tim Sackett
Tim Sackett SPHR, is the ultimate Mama’s Boy!  After 15+ years of successfully leading HR and Talent Acquisition departments for Fortune 500s and smaller technical firms, Tim took over running the contingent staffing firm HRU Technical Resources in Lansing, MI. Serving as the Executive Vice President, Tim runs the company his mother started over 30 years ago, and don’t tell Mom, but he thinks he does a better job at it than she did!  Check out his blog at Because he's got A LOT to say, and FOT just isn't enough for him.


  1. kd says:

    So it really comes down to who you want making choices related to how you spend your money.

    Does the same math work if companies as a whole opted to do this? Meaning, what if we took a vote at my company and if the majority voted yes to do this AT OUR COMPANY could we fund it?

    No? Hmmmmm…

    Or maybe instead of reaching inside the pockets of the masses we could just establish a corporate tax rate that didn’t allow companies to pay zero taxes?

  2. Chris Brady says:

    I agree we need to do this as a society. And I agree that it should be an option for pops too. (That way you could get 24 weeks of baby love.)

    A hiring manager at my company told me that a recent candidate (almost) didn’t accept the job offer because we had a cheap maternity policy. We provide the 12 weeks unpaid, and moms use short term disability to make up financially. She was coming from a law firm environment where 12 weeks paid is the norm.

    There are so many ways we fall short of practicing family values in American policy.

    • Nikki j. says:

      No no no, you don’t provide 12 weeks…you are required by federal law to adhere to FMLA. I’m sick of companies phrasing that like they are being the good guy here. FMLA is a joke and companies using it as their crutch for babies is sad.

  3. Sølve Horrigmoe says:

    There is a great overview of international parental leave at this URL :

    Being from Norway I have been fortunate enough to enjoy spending quality time with my kids at a crucial age.

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