Maternity Leave – California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Well, before we get in too deep, this article is only going to cover the “maternity” aspect of these two regulations, not the “health condition” aspect.  For those of you outside of California, CFRA is basically the California edition of the Federal FMLA so for the purposes of this article, I am only going to be discussing the common aspect of the regulation: employees have the right to be on unpaid leave for up to 12 work-weeks during any 12-months period and the employers MUST grant the leave.  This means the employer must allow the employee to return to the same or equal position when the employee returns to work within 12 workweeks.

CFRA and FMLA are basically government policies made to tax companies with over 50 employees to influence behavior.  In case you aren’t aware of this, government often implement tax policies to alter behaviors.  For example, there are tax deductions for dependents because the government wants to promote its citizens to form families and have children.  There are cigarette taxes because the government wants to deter people from smoking, and of course, collect a good amount of tax dollars from spending on an addictive drug, nicotine.  There are many other examples, but enough with the background, let’s get into the main point of this article.

What? You just asked why CFRA and FMLA are considered “taxes” when the government is not collecting any money from any company?  Well, it is quite simple because the government is forcing companies with over 50 employees to bear the full burden of allowing an employee to be absent from work for twelve weeks.   The government is essentially taxing the company’s total productivity (cost) over a span of twelve week and in return, promote people to have children (behavior).  Let’s not forget that the scenario I just described only involved one employee being off work at one time.  Take a second to think about your workplace and the potential undue burdens brought upon fellow coworkers and supervisors if even ten percent of the 20 to 35 year old employees are off for 12 work-weeks a year.

Below are some of the most common counterpoints because I expect feeble attempts from people who do not understand for-profit organizations.  This will hopefully deter idiots from commenting on this article with their weak-ass arguments and thinking “AHA, I can up with this argument all by myself and I make so much sense”.  Well, you don’t make any sense and here are the reasons why you don’t:

1. Employees are entitled to have days off for child birth.

  • No they aren’t.  Having birth is a choice because no one is putting a gun to your head and telling you to have a baby.  Should I have a 12-week job protection from my company if I choose to travel around the world or choose to sleep at home?  No, then why should the company be required to give you 12-weeks off for choosing to have a baby?  Simple, it’s just all because the government wanted to promote people to have families and the reasoning behind that will be saved for a later article.
  • If it is about entitlement, then why doesn’t the regulation require it for companies with less than 50 employees?  Is it because those women don’t deserve to have job protection while on maternity leave?  I’ll tell you why.  It is because it is too big of a burden for small companies that have less than 50 employees to allow someone to be missing for 12-work-weeks.  You got that?  It’s a burden, because companies need to make money for the stakeholders and they aren’t running a charity.   Even the dumbest person needs to recognize that maternity leave is a burden on companies because that is self-explanatory in the regulation itself.

2. No one will want to have kids because less people will be inclined to risk their employment to have kids.

  • Let’s be honest here.  People will have kids regardless of whether or not there is maternity leave.  How many times have you seen families that can’t afford a baby have a baby anyways?  How many times have you seen unemployed individuals get knocked up?  Case closed.
  • You will always have people who will want to have kids.  People should do it out of their own will and do their own cost benefit analysis.  If you cannot afford having a child just because you will be off work for at least 3 months?  Then you probably shouldn’t be having one in the first place.
  • Here’s an idea, how about you take less than 12 weeks off?  Anyone thought about that?  I knew plenty plenty of people who would take off work a few days before going into labor and come back two or three days after.  That’s commitment!  If you want to spend 12 weeks with the newborn, then that’s your CHOICE to risk your job.  There goes that whole entitlement mentality again…

3. It is a gender specific punishment to not have job security for giving birth because often times, the decision to have babies is made by both the man and the woman.

  • Hold on just a second here, men can take off work under FMLA to take care of newborns too so it is not gender specific.
  • Let’s flip the coin and ask “why are we creating undue burden for the companies that hire employee who want to take off 12 weeks for having a baby?”  Not to mention the coworkers who have to share the workload for nearly three months, is it fair for them?
  • Again, back to the companies with less than 50 employees. How do those employees’ families have children? How come those families can live without having the protection of maternity leave while the employees of bigger companies can’t.

Conclusion?  Maternity leave needs to be a fringe benefit that companies should have an option of implementing, just like 401k, pension, or bonuses.  Just like any other benefit, it should only be offered by the companies that can afford them.

  • guably, having children is still ultimately the woman’s decision because men cannot CHOOSE to have the abortion, only women can

One response to “Maternity Leave – California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

  1. nice use of the hashtags on your tweets there!

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