Donating vacation time to pregnant co-workers is becoming a new trend — and it’s called attention to poor maternity leave policies in the U.S.
Angela Hughes went on “Good Morning America” and told her story about not qualifying for paid maternity leave at her new job. But he boss and co-workers donated a total of eight weeks of their own time off so Hughes could care for her premature baby in the hospital.
“It took a weight off of me family’s shoulder. Having a baby is a huge adjustment any but having a premature baby, my emotions were all over the place,”
People online were quick to point out that the heartwarming story has some pretty dark undertones.
Pediatrician Aaron E. Carroll tweeted, “These feel-good stories are nice, but let’s not ignore the fact that none of this should have to happen…”
Author Celeste NG tweeted, “People who donate like this are generous and kind, but they shouldn’t HAVE to. Just as kids who start lemonade stands to pay for medical treatments shouldn’t HAVE to.”
The U.S. as still the only developed country that doesn’t offer paid maternity leave. American women are only guaranteed 12 weeks unpaid leave to take care of their new babies.