Mailbag: Family leave policy is senseless

Published by Megan on

May 1, 2020 – Original Post Here

In 2017, Oregon State University’s family leave policy was 60 hours of paid leave.

The President’s Committee on the Status of Women issued a report calling this “a severely truncated period of time” that was insufficient for major life-altering events. In response, President Ed Ray stated, “I recognize that OSU has much work to do” and assured us OSU was “in the process of modifying university leave policies.”

In 2020, three years into this “process,” OSU’s family leave policy is as senseless as it ever was: 60 hours. As the committee found, 60 hours is not enough, nor has it ever been.

It’s not enough for starting a family — would you want to leave your newborn or adopted child and return to work after a week and a half? Would you want to leave the side of a family member with COVID-19 — who needs a minimum of two weeks of self-quarantine?

This pitiful family leave policy also undermines OSU’s stated commitment to inclusion and equity. The policy disproportionately affects primary caregivers — with only 60 hours of paid leave, we are forced to choose between our careers and our families. Our participation in the workforce declines, which exacerbates OSU’s already poor track record on issues of gender equality.

OSU’s position on this issue is a curious one. Three years ago, this was a big problem that required action. Today, OSU administration still hasn’t put a solution in writing. How much longer do we have to wait

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