Netflix shows there’s no reason to mandate a one-size-fits-all approach to family leave.

August 6, 2015

Netflix is making news this week, but this time not because of the release of a new season of “House of Cards.” The company announced a new leave policy, allowing new moms and dads to take unlimited leave during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption. Parents have the choice to return full-time, part-time, or even go back and forth during that year.

Much of the discussion in Washington related to maternity and paternity leave centers on government-mandated paid leave requirements. President Barack Obama called for guaranteed paid maternity leave in his January State of the Union Address and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., reintroduced in March the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, which includes a paid leave benefit.

We should be wary of a one-size-fits-all approach to family leave.