Paul Ryan, who became Speaker of the House last week, made headlines when he demanded guarantees that he would get to spend enough time with his family in his new job, while being criticized by some for not supporting policies, such as paid family leave, that would help other people achieve a healthy work-life balance. Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Ryan doubled down and said he would not be supporting expanding paid family leave: “I don’t think that sticking up for being a person with balance in your life, for wanting to spend your weekends in your home with your family … I don’t think that means signing up for some new unfunded mandate,” he told Dana Bash.
He went on to say we have some “pretty good legislation on flex time” as alternatives, referring to a bill called the Working Families Flexibility Act, which he co-sponsored. The bill was proposed by Republican Rep. Martha Roby and would give private sector employees the option of using their earned overtime toward paid time off at the sacrifice of time-and-a-half overtime pay.
Meanwhile, on the same day, it was reported that Amazon has become the latest tech company to expand its parental leave policy. From January 1, the company will offer up to to 20 weeks of paid leave for new birth mothers. The new conditions will also give all new parents who have worked at the company for at least a year six weeks of paid time off. This is the first time Amazon has offered paid leave to new dads. The company joins Netflix, Microsoft and Adobe in improving its parental leave allowance.