“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” tackled an appropriate issue on Mother’s Day (May 10) — paid family leave. Because when it comes to giving new mothers and fathers paid time off to spend time with their new baby, the U.S. trails nearly every country in the world.
What most mothers end up having to do in order to get sufficient time off, some of which might be paid, is to cobble together their vacation and sick time, to which Oliver says, “This isn’t how it’s supposed to work. Mothers shouldn’t have to stitch together time to recover from childbirth the same way we plan four-day weekends in Atlantic City.”
“There are women that want to get back to work as soon as they can, and that’s obviously fine,” Oliver continues. “But for many women, the current situation forces them to return well before they want to.”
He later adds that the way the U.S. handles paid family leave is not fair to new fathers either. Family leave should be available to both parents, but that will take “some cultural adjustment.” Case in point: Major League Baseball gives new fathers three whole days off when their son or daughter is born — yet Oliver shows footage of radio sports commentators taking Mets player Daniel Murphy to task for missing the first two days of the 2014 season to be there for the birth of his son.
The segment ends with a PSA showing exhausted new moms going back to work obviously before they are ready to — because they have to for financial reasons. “You deserve the very best, moms. You’re just not gonna get it. Happy Mother’s Day.”