Maternity and paternity leave now mandated
WASHINGTON D.C. -- President Hillary Rodham Clinton has just signed into law a groundbreaking bill requiring employers to provide all employees with 12 weeks of mandatory maternity and paternity leave following the birth of a child.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi hailed the bill's passage as "merely the latest and greatest in a series of new laws designed to fundamentally improve work-life balance for women and men across the United States."
The White House was ecstatic. Emphasizing the importance of providing both mothers and fathers ample leave to care for newborn children, Clinton said she hoped the new measure would encourage fathers to get equally involved in child-rearing, while also breaking down gendered stereotypes of “caregiving” and “breadwinning.”
Nick, a 37-year-old divorced father from Omaha, responded to the law's passage with elation and confusion.
"I didn't even know paternity leave was an option," he told the Omaha Times. "Every woman I've ever known and seen on TV has always just handled it on her own, so I figured it was a biologically determined fact that only women stayed home with kids. Maybe that's what my ex-wife kept trying to tell me all of those years?"
Women across the country expressed a sense of relief that men will now be able and expected to take on a substantial portion of early childhood rearing.