Workplace equality for the childfree | “Bill may get parents paid time off for kids’ school activities”

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A bill is being proposed that would grant parents an additional 3 days of paid vacation/leave for their kids’ school activities. We do not support this bill – and here’s why! (Refer to the link at the end of our post to learn more about what is being proposed.)

In our opinion, it’s not right to offer extra benefits to one group of people but not to another group when both groups hold the same position/make the same salary. Workplace equality for the childfree is an important issue these days, especially with a big push coming from parents, and more specifically working mothers, for companies to offer benefits (specifically) to them that would help make it easier to obtain a balance between work and raising kids. Even if you do not live in the lovely state of California where this bill is being proposed, be aware that you may see it in your state soon.

First of all, why should parents get extra paid time off just because they made the CHOICE to have a child? When one makes the choice to have a child, that choice includes sacrifices… One of which is that the parents may have to use their vacation time to go enjoy a school activity with their child rather than for an actual vacation. And what about those of us who are childfree by choice or who cannot have kids – how is this fair to us? The answer is simple: it’s not. Who is going to be expected to cover the work duties of these parents while they are away at the zoo, watching a kid’s baseball game, hiking in the woods or participating in any other field trip with their child? While they get paid to spend time with their child, presumably an activity they ENJOY (not to mention likely a refreshing break from the daily grind), the rest of us get to inherit the burden of their work duties – benefit free, of course!

If a company is willing to offer extra benefits to parents but not to childfree employees, we would be highly suspicious of the underlying morals of that company! We would wonder if the company is also offering additional benefits to other select groups of people based on race, age, sex, religion, physical attributes, or any other non-work related factors. While we understand that it can be beneficial for parents to spend more time with their kids, rather than increasing paid leave only for parents, increase the amount of paid vacation time or family leave available to everyone (so that those of us who are childfree can also use the leave to take care of a sick/injured parent, spouse or sibling, etc). Or, allow workers to EARN bonuses/extra paid leave when they make certain contributions to the company, so that those who earn it (whether they are parents or childfree) can reap the rewards.

The bottom line is that benefits for employees holding the same job position/title should be EQUAL and standardized within a company, with the exception being when a certain individual makes a significant work-related contribution to the company that sets them apart from their peers. In such a case, a bonus or additional paid vacation time could be a fair reward. Again, the difference is that this sort of benefit/reward is available to ANY employee who wants to put in the extra effort in the work place, rather than to only a certain group of people based on non-work related factors!

Bill may get parents paid time off for kids’ school activities

A new bill aimed at giving parents paid time off for their kids’ school-related activities is bringing hope for many, but others say the bill may not be easy to pass. For many working parents, it’s tough to find the time to go on a school field trip with the kids.

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