During a Friday campaign stop in New Hampshire, John Kasich, a man still running for the Republican presidential nomination, was asked about where he stood on the issue of paid maternity leave. He remained steadfast in his position that women should not be given any additional paid leave, a platform that’s standard among the Republican field. Kasich, however, added some confusing points on telecommuting and flex time.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Kasich said:
“The one thing we need to do for working women is to give them the flexibility to be able to work at home online,” Kasich told the man who asked the question. “The reason why that’s important is, when women take maternity leave or time to be with the children, then what happens is they fall behind on the experience level, which means that the pay becomes a differential.”
“And we need to accommodate women who want to be at home, having a healthy baby and, in fact being involved, however many years they want to take care of the family.”
Kasich didn’t elaborate on his policy one which, according to this answer, doesn’t take into account that a large portion of American workers can’t telecommute (and also doesn’t take into account the concept of parental leave over maternity leave or that his answer was total bullshit).
As the Dispatch notes, only a third of American women are employed by companies that offer paid maternity leave, leaving the majority of women without a lot of options. Even worse, NPR estimates that 40% of American workers remain ineligible for the unpaid leave mandated through the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Though the vast majority of Americans support expanding paid parental leave, the GOP seems determined to leave those decisions to employers (though Marco Rubio has proposed a series of tax breaks for new parents).
Kasich reiterated that position at the campaign stop when he said that parental leave decisions should be “up to employers to try to be creative about this.” He added, “[We shouldn’t] continue with differentials between a man and a woman in the workplace.” While he served in Congress, Kasich twice voted against the FMLA.
Image via AP.