Why Mark Zuckerberg's paternity leave post is making people mad

Why Mark Zuckerberg's paternity leave post is making people mad

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Why Mark Zuckerberg's paternity leave post is making people mad

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, a pregnant Priscilla Chan. Credit: Anita Bugge

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Facebook that he will take two months of paternity leave after the birth of his second daughter.

He took the same amount of time when his daughter, Max, was born in 2015.

“I will always be grateful I could spend so much time with her in the first months of her life,” he wrote.

“Our new daughter is coming soon, and I’m planning to take two months of paternity leave again. This time, I’m going to take advantage of Facebook’s option to take leave in parts. I’ll take a month off to be with Priscilla and the girls at the beginning, and then we’ll spend the whole month of December together as well.

“I’m looking forward to bonding with our new little one and taking Max on adventures.”

Why would anyone have a problem of that?

Because most dads (and moms) in the U.S. don’t have that option. Zuckerberg is still only using half of the four months paid parental leave that Facebook allots male and female employees.

No paid leave for others

But less than 15 percent of U.S. civilian workers have access to any paid family leave, according to a 2016 National Compensation Survey cited at the Pew Research Center.

While most posts are understandably congratulatory, some reflect the bitterness of the fact that paid paternity leave is just a dream for most.

“I wish I could do any of that,” one man responded to the post. “But I’m broke with four kids. Make just enough to get by.”

Other countries more generous

Other countries are more generous with mandated weeks of paid family leave policies, according to the Pew Research Center, including Canada, United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden.

Zuckerberg gets props on his post by commenters for acknowledging the important of paid family leave. “…Because studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, it’s good for the entire family. And I’m pretty sure the office will still be standing when I get back.”

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