Obama: America is ‘Way Behind the Times’ on Maternity Leave Benefits

President Obama on Saturday criticized America’s failure to provide paid maternity leave, saying employers need to be more generous and flexible with their benefits for working families.

“Family leave, childcare, flexibility — these aren’t frills,” Mr. Obama said in his weekly address. “They’re basic needs. They shouldn’t be bonuses – they should be the bottom line.”

Mr. Obama said the U.S. is “way behind the times” as one of only three countries that doesn’t offer paid maternity leave.

“It’s time to change that,” the president said. “A few states have acted on their own to give workers paid family leave, but this should be available to everyone, because all Americans should be able to afford to care for a family member in need.”