Some employees without children frame paid maternity leave as unfair. When I was employed by the Fortune 100, I also perceived an injustice. But, at the time, no employee said much, not even in private among co-workers, about any company policies. That was then.
Now, it's an issue debated in public. One loud voice was that of Meghann Fox. And, influential Salon ran with that. Its stance is that all employees should have time off to, well, recharge.
And, now as a pet parent of a rescue who was difficult, my beef is not with maternity leave for parents of human children. Rather it is the realization that pet parents should also have paid time off to be home with their new animal companion. The adjustment for the animal can be brutal.
I am not an oddball thinking that way. In the New York Post, Lindsey Putnam argues for what in the UK is called "paw-ternity" leave. And, yes, the UK already has implemented it.
When Putnam adopted her rescue cat, he had been through physical and emotional hell. He needed her.
That story line gets played out often. Probably more discarded animals would be adopted if the potential pet parents knew there would be paid time off the job to nurture the traumatized animal. How much? Experts in the human-animal bond would have to research that for employers.
Because I am self-employed, I had the flexibility to help my rescue back to physical and emotional well-being. Many others don't have that option. They pick up their rescue on Saturday at the shelter and nurture until Monday A.M. Of course, they are preoccupied with how their animal companion is faring, without their living attention.
My hunch is that, in America, it will take litigation for "pas-ternity" leave to become standard in the workplace. A new pet parent will contend having to go to work and leaving their troubled adopted four-footer at home harmed them as well as the animal companion. Lawyers wanting to create brandnames for themselves will likely take those cases.