Prompted by a stark pattern on the U.S. Supreme Court, David Leonhardt of the New York Times addresses the continuing burdens on working parents that still mostly fall on women. Because employers do not make reasonable accommodations for parental leave, parents who take time off often suffer long-term drops in pay and position, or stop working altogether. Paid parental leave would help to address this issue. And, he notes, "With Australia’s recent passage of paid leave, the United States has become the only rich country without such a policy."
But, given implacable opposition from the business community on this issue, "a more realistic immediate idea may be the recent British law giving workers the right to request a switch to a part-time or flexible schedule. Employers can still say no, but the establishment of a formal right seems to have made a difference. So far, about 90 percent of requests have been approved."