Conservatives Go Mad Because Netflix Announces A Year’s Unlimited Paid Maternity Leave


If one listens to Republicans, and their Chamber of Commerce directors, the reason there is not full employment and why every working American is not a millionaire is because the poor beleaguered business community is too burdened with an outlandishly high minimum wage and profit-crushing employee benefits. Interestingly, most developed nations pay higher wages than American companies and provide employee benefits that most Americans can only dream about receiving in a nation that “family values” Republicans continue claiming is exceedingly exceptional.

Early last week, one American company announced that it would increase its employees’ benefits to keep pace with the rest of the developed industrialized world. In announcing that, as a company, Netflix would join all but 3 countries on Earth in demonstrating what a nation’s true support for family values looks like, the Chief Talent Officer wrote: “Today we’re introducing an unlimited leave policy for new moms and dads that allows them to take off as much time as they want during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption. We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances. Parents can return part-time, full-time, or return and then go back out as needed. We’ll just keep paying them normally, eliminating the headache of switching to state or disability pay. Each employee gets to figure out what’s best for them and their family, and then works with their managers for coverage during their absences.”

After an initial, and very, very brief, bit of praise for Netflix and its devotion to its valued employees and family values, it took less than a day for the praise to turn to criticism and typical conservative fear-mongering. A few of the headlines condemning a for-profit company’s dedication to its valued employees and families were: “Why Netflix’s unlimited parental leave is a bad idea for your company;” “Why Netflix’s ‘unlimited’ maternity leave policy won’t work;” and “Netflix’s New Parental Leave Policy Could Make Things Worse for Women.” The last title was featured in Time no less, and argued that giving women paid ‘family leave time” was not only bad for the mother, the father, and the whole family, it was dangerously harmful to the baby. The conservative attacks on Netflix appear to be a typical Chamber of Commerce, ALEC, and Americans for Prosperity effort to maintain the status quo and keep America’s labor force lagging the rest of the world in every category except productivity.

Netflix may be a trailblazer in American business, but Earth-wide the company is simply following savvy business practices that Republicans and the business community reject as anti-capitalistic, un-American, and devastating to the concept of American exceptionalism. Conservatives and the Chamber of Commerce are critical of ‘paid family time‘ because they want every business in America to continue the tradition that keeps this country in the same ‘family values‘ club as Oman and Papua New Guinea; the only countries, besides America, out of 185 that do not provide cash benefits for women’s maternity leave according to a 2014 report by the International Labour Organization. Apparently Oman and Papua New Guinea are every bit as “exceptional,” and “family values-oriented” as Republicans and they embrace pro-business conservatives’ anti-family values.

Whether she knew it or not, Carol Sladek, the lead work-life consultant at Aon Hewitt unknowingly acknowledged how successful Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce have been in convincing businesses and an increasing number of Americans that the workforce are slaves to business and are fortunate they get paid at all. Sladek said part of the challenge for American labor is that “we’ve been wired in the U.S. to think about time off as an entitlement” instead of a “valued employee benefit” that any sane human being would embrace.

Not only have Americans been indoctrinated to think that anything, including the Social Security pensions and Medicare health plans they paid in to their entire working lives is “an entitlement” (welfare), a large segment of stupid Americans believe the Republican propaganda that any business expense is un-American, socialistic, stolen from them personally, and an abomination before god. It is why, forget paid family leave, minimum wage, pensions, overtime pay, safety regulations, healthcare insurance, and even days off are in jeopardy of being eliminated because pro-business, anti-family, Republicans claim they are anathema to America. To Republicans and their hateful base, the idea of allowing new mothers and fathers to receive paid leave to spend time with their families is tantamount to waging war on America. Don’t believe it?

Some of the negative reactions, and comments, decrying Netflix’s pro-family announcement reveals not only the success Republicans have had indoctrinating their base into supporting corporations at all costs, they also revealed the inordinate jealousy and hatefulness inherent in many Americans for other Americans who happen to have good jobs and decent benefits like a living wage, paid vacation, overtime pay, weekends off, and healthcare insurance.

A website devoted to motherhood logged some of the negative comments targeting Netflix for setting a new American standard for a business’s dedication to family values and its employees. One commenter who likely never had a newborn, family responsibility, or understands the strain of being a working parent said that Netflix’s business decision was “Simply unfair to non parents.” Another commenter, likely projecting their own mindset and ingratitude toward their employer said,  “It’s their business, they can do whatever they want. But don’t get upset when some takes advantage of that…takes the paid year and then saysoh, I’m leaving, but thanks for the free money.'”

The  most telling comment certainly originated from an angry anti-government conservative who internalized a giant company’s business decision as a personal affront, and government theft of her “stuff.” The angry person said,  “I want to know why my husband should pay for others to stay home with their children. It is taking money away from me and our children. If you want me to pay for them, give them to me. Respect me as a stay at home mom. The government is not there to take care of me. The government is we the people. Do you want to pay the female CEO’s salary do (sic) she can stay at home with her three babies? I do not.”

What exposes this commenter’s indoctrination by Republicans is the claim that Netflix offering paid time off is curiously “taking money away from me and our children,” and that somehow the commenter, via the government, is footing the bill for Netflix’s employee benefits. If the person had paid attention to the announcement, they would have comprehended that Netflix picking up the tab for “paid time off” relieves the state taxpayers of funding “disability pay.”

These comments reveal exactly why Republicans have maintained significant support among their base for opposing a minimum raise hike, eliminating overtime pay, abolishing weekends, or dog-forbid offering employees sick leave or pensions. It is not just that idiots believe decent employee compensation and benefits are business killers and un-American, it is the government stealing from other Americans.

This business decision by Netflix, although violating Republican and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s labor policies, is exactly that; a private for-profit company’s business decision rewarding its employees and supporting family values. In fact, it is relatively common knowledge that companies that provide their employees with what used to be universal benefits, a living wage, paid vacations, healthcare, sick leave, overtime, and weekends off enjoy lower turnover, higher productivity, and a labor force devoted to the company’s success. For dog’s sake, even communist China, Russia, and North Korea offer their employee’s paid time off for maternity leave and caring for their newborn.

America lags the rest of the world in many areas, but most noticeably in how it treats its workforce. The negative response to one company joining the rest of the developed world in giving paid family leave for new births and adoptions is contrary to what one would expect from a movement claiming to be the party of family values. However, it is more revealing that instead of rallying behind Netflix’s announcement and demanding what every nation, save three, offer their employees, the right-wing is appalled; but then Republicans have been very pro-active and successful in convincing their base that anything good for American workers or that promotes family values is appalling, anti-capitalistic, and un-American.

26 Replies to “Conservatives Go Mad Because Netflix Announces A Year’s Unlimited Paid Maternity Leave”

  1. All that I can say is what is wrong with these republicans and why do people believe and vote for them

  2. I want to know why my husband should pay for others to stay home with their children.

    It’s called Family Values you bleeding moron! This Atheist has no problem paying extra to support this.
    But then as an Atheist- I probably got an underhanded motivation- don’t ya know?

  3. “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.
    Ezekial 16:49

    Republicans- loving that Old Timey Religion.

  4. Well, repukes prove, once again, that not only are they generally detestable, but also the most flaming of hypocrites. Anyway, this is a private company so how is what they do any of their effing business?

  5. Haven’t you figured it out by now Le Hunt- to Republicans- everyone else’s business is their business.
    But Republican’s business isn’t anyone else’s business.

    I propose that America drop the Motto (In God We Trust) and replace it with the original Motto modified:

    Mind Your Own Business.

  6. I saved the link to this so the next time my teabagger friend sends me some of the seditious links she is so fond of, I can send her this.

  7. So much for being the party of “family values. I am sick and tired of hearing old, white, wrinkled, dried up, misogynist, backward, jackasses in the GOP trying to enforce medical decisions for females when they are unqualified.

    When they develop female reproductive system, have to deal with a menstrual cycle, morning sickness, a aching back, sore swollen feet, hormonal mood swings, and labor from hell, then I will listen, but only then.

    Since that time has not yet come, I want these lazy SOB’s to keep their #!$@ mouths close!!!

  8. Good for Netflix, but I read that this only applies to a select few employee groups, and not to the majority of women who work there part-time. But it is a start.

  9. Well, as a non-parent, I do not in any way, shape or form think this policy is unfair to me. A generous maternity and paternity leave policy is better for everyone overall; better for the workers and better for society.

  10. Well, I guess that whole gop thing about being all about family really means being all about the 1%’s families.

  11. It means

    A. Being sure that all women are in subjugation to husbands;

    B. That female sexual activity, in wedlock or not, voluntary or not, pleasurable or not, invariably results in “a gnawing rat placed upside down in the womb as punishment for transgression” (Dr. Robert Lindner, “Prescription for Rebellion”).

  12. it is a great start. happy for the country. biologically and psychologically babies need to be with their parents not childcare centers to be able to develop attachments which in future leads to better relationships and society overall.

  13. Since I was old enough to think of such things I have found In God We Trust on our currency a ridiculous place to be pushing god. I never trusted any church people. they beat me weekly at catholic school and it was said to my class that I was destined for Hades as I was a Protestant. I finally asked my parents about all this and they got me out of there. I still wish that was not on our currency. I have no use for Christianity since I know right from wrong and have a conscience that works overtime. all the best. I always like the things you say Moongrim

  14. you ruined my buzz with that bit about Netfix baby leave Ewing only for the higher workers. hearing that Netflix uses that much cheap, part time labor instead of hiring full time is depressing to. I know nothing of Netflix business I just watch it on the tube. Be well Sally in MI…

  15. The worst thing, as mentioned in the article, is that what that foolish person was spouting off about was not even remotely happening. This private business was making a decision, I am sure was discussed with at least the major stockholders and approved, to use their own private capital to provide those benefits. The fool, unless her husband works for Netflix, was not paying for anything! If the fool’s husband does work for Netflix, then here we are in the wonderful market driven system. I suppose her husband can find a company to work for who will not provide those benefits to their employees. Nobody is forced to work there.

  16. Her husband might be able to find a job with Hobby Lobby. And there would go her birth control. I’m not sure but most likely they do cover Viagra. Bet she would change her tune when she had a kid every 10 months. Back in the olden days six weeks was long enough to heal and get back to work. So a month would be considered more than plenty. Errrr. Wonder why she is worried about her husband. Why isn’t SHE up and at em every day? Like millions of mothers?

  17. I joined Netflix years ago, as soon as I could and have never regretted it for a second. No matter what the media and the competitors say it is one of the few things I get full value for. I will continue to be a customer as long as possible. Unlike Rupert’s Hulu. Same price, channels he has interests in, and old bad movies. But for the price I get the treat of commercials. After the trial period and some research to prove to myself what was so obvious, I stopped that. I have Prime, but that is getting iffy. One more price increase and I won’t. With my very limited income I need value. And to be part of Netflix’s business model adds icing to the cake.

  18. Business knows what’s best – unless it does something that’s pro-family. Then it needs to be condemned.

  19. Could I ask please where you heard that? A lot of companies have part time employees. My local grocery store, now owned by a Belgian company uses that business model. Most of the employees never get enough hours to qualify for ANY benefits.
    Some women wants part time for various reasons. But I have never heard Netflix is like Walmart and too many others. Where part time is the norm and the employees have to have food stamps and Medicaid etc.
    I have read tons about how Amazon treats their employees.
    I am guessing we don’t frequent the same places. But I am always open to a legitimate complaint after I check it out. But I do check it out and that kind of thing, trashing something good for the working class and America in general usually tracks right back to the same group of people. Like 90% of the time.

  20. When the Repubes do things like this there is a Global Gasp followed by jeering yet incredulous laughter.

  21. Sad thing though is the GOP women. Even though what this company is doing would benefit everyone – males & females who work for Netflex; they just can’t wrap their head around that this is a good thing.

    They are so used to regurgitating all the GOP talking points & RW ideals that they don’t see how they are left out of the equation. They are completely blind to reality & facts. These women are as misogynic as the GOP males.

  22. The Great American Star-Spangled Cash-Register! Labor fills it up, & the rich & powerful empty it.

    Anything that threatens this, they are rabidly opposed to, but then pseudo-conservatives are animals, driven by fear & loathing…ultimately of life, people & themselves.

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