Helping new moms avoid a financial burden

Posted at 4:41 PM, Jul 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-30 17:58:03-04

Grace Alfordson knows the struggle that can come with giving birth. After all, she has 4 children. 

The working mom had just started a new job when she got pregnant with her son. "I had only been with the company a little over a year so I kinda just qualified, so I hadn't occurred a ton of vacation or sick time."

Grace would get 12 weeks maternity leave but that time would be unpaid.

The excitement of having a baby quickly dwindled as Grace and her husband became stressed about how they would support their family. 

She learned her company allowed employees to donate their vacation time. Grace received 10-weeks of paid maternity leave.

"I felt like I wasn't just not financially supported around becoming a mom but also the culture supported being a mom and I do think that when all of that plays together I think you can go back to work a better person," she said.

If you work for a company with more than 50 employees, you are entitled to 12 weeks off with your newborn but it's up to employers to decide if you'll be compensated for any of that time.

The United State does not have a paid, family leave policy.

"The U.S. is generally behind in many markets particularly Scandinavian countries and countries with generous maternity leave benefits," said Keiser University President Dr. Gary Vonk.

Grace and her husband are forever grateful to their co-workers.

Luis Preciado has paid it forward and given 120 hours of his earned time to co-workers. "Most families are living paycheck to paycheck so when you put a halt into one income coming in it really puts a stress on the relationship with all the emotions going with the newborn and to add finances it's very difficult to navigate the relationship in your home."

Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree there needs to be a solution for America's workforce.
But coming up with how to pay for it is something they can't agree on or figure out.