Maternity Leave Laws in the United States in the Light of European Legislation
This chapter describes the difficulty that the US has had in passing social legislation by viewing it through the changing attitudes of US Supreme Court justices toward employment legislation during five defining eras in the twentieth century: laissez-faire economics and wage and hour legislation, 1905-1941; President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Social Security Act, 1935-1937; World War II, 1940-1948; the Civil Rights and Women’s movements, 1963-1978; and the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. The US has expanded its view of government’s role in the private workplace over time, though not nearly as quickly as has Europe. The author shows that this lagging behind may be explained in part by America’s long tradition of opposing government power, particularly Federal power, and, in the case of maternity leave, by unhelpful attitudes toward women in the workplace, both of which have stifled social engineering initiatives in the United States.
Maternity leave, Family leave, Employment law, Social legislation, US Supreme Court
Labor and Employment Law
Kovacic-Fleischer, Candace Saari. “Maternity Leave Laws in the United States in the Light of European Legislation.” In The Internationalization of Law and Legal Education, edited by Jan Klabbers & Mortimer Sellers, 129-148. Vol. 2 of Comparative Perspective on Law and Justice Series. New York: Springer, 2008.