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The U.S. ranks last among developed countries in the world in offering paid parental leave to its workers. Policies are determined by private companies and not the federal government. While recent years some top companies have announced heretofore unheard of maternity and paternity leave policies, there are no guarantees they'll last. These paid plans also rarely reach down to the workers on the lowest rungs.
In 2014, President Obama granted federal workers six weeks of paid parental leave. Last year, Netflix, Amazon, Google and Microsoft unveiled their most generous plans yet. However, even these positive changes are small when compared with paid leave policies on the worldwide stage.
Leading into this year's presidential election, it is likely this issue will attract more attention. Here is a quick primer on parental leave policy in the U.S. and what you need to know when evaluating presidential and congressional candidates' policies: