Latest News 2010 March Graduate Students Push for Maternity & Paternity Leave

Graduate Students Push for Maternity & Paternity Leave

Graduate students at some research universities are fighting to get maternity and paternity leave. Although there are federal laws in place that require employers to provide maternity leave, universities are not held to the same standard. In fact, according to an article in the Washington Post, “the nation’s 2.6 million graduate students often have fewer legal protections than most workers.” This makes things very difficult for graduate students who feel pressure to return to their work within days of their child’s birth, leaving them no time to rest, recover, and bond with the baby.

One graduate student who is working on her doctorate in business at the University of Maryland said she returned to work just seven days after giving birth to her daughter, even though her body was aching, she had doctor’s orders to rest, and she was yearning to spend time with her newborn daughter. She returned to her research anyway because she was afraid that all of the hard work she had put into her degree over the last five years would go away if she didn’t.

At many universities students risk getting kicked off projects, falling out of favor with their professors, and losing their student status, which can affect their visas, health insurance benefits, and student loans if they take time off after their baby is born. Many graduates are not willing to take those risks, so they work up until their due dates and then find ways to return to their studies as soon after giving birth as possible.

Fortunately, more and more universities are realizing the unfair position their pregnant graduate students are put in, and have begun enacting policies that grant students maternity and paternity leave.

family law attorney will be able to provide you with more information about the maternity and paternity laws in your state. If you need help finding an attorney, click here to search for a family lawyer near you!

Categories: Family Law, Maternity