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People Are Speaking Up Against This So-Called "Trend" Of Donating Vacation Days To New Moms

"Maternity leave shouldn't have to be crowdsourced."

Posted on July 19, 2018, at 12:01 p.m. ET

On Thursday, Good Morning America published an article about the new "trendy co-worker baby shower gift" — donating your vacation time to supplement a pregnant coworker's meager or nonexistent parental leave.

G-stockstudio / Getty Images

The article cited stories of two women — both of whom did not have paid parental leave in their jobs — who were able to take several weeks off after giving birth thanks to their coworkers' generosity.

The backlash to the article was immediate and sweeping, with people criticizing it for normalizing the need for such a practice.

THIS. IS. NOT. HEARTWARMING. Maternity leave shouldn’t have to be crowdsourced.

The US is the only developed nation in the world without mandatory paid parental leave, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.


What if Stay with me on this guys What if we instead just stop being literally the only first world nation on earth that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave

this story should be titled “how americans cope with our inhumane economy”

The generosity of the new moms' coworkers is certainly commendable, but should not be necessary, some pointed out.

This is not a heartwarming feel good story. It’s insane that new parents don’t have paid time off after having a baby - and it’s insane that coworkers need to sacrifice their leave to help get a mom like this. Not taking away from the generosity of this woman’s coworkers...

The fact other people have to give up their own time to do this is, while fabulously generous from donors, shows just how far behind we are that it’s even needed.

Many people called the story more "horrifying" than "heartwarming."

I hate how these stories are framed as heartwarming this is horrifying!!

Co-workers giving up their vacation & sick leave to fellow workers who are new mothers is not heartwarming ... it’s horrifying that it’s even necessary

Some think it's straight-up dystopian.

I always surprised how much our Orwellian future sounds like QVC.

Stop with this cheery dystopian nonsense. Even after the “donation” she went back after 4 weeks, post C-section & her baby was still in the NICU. That’s a systematic failure, not success.

"This isn't a 'feel good' story," one person said. "It's a pathetic excuse for corporate greed."

This isn’t a “feel good” story. It’s a pathetic excuse for corporate greed. While I applaud individual people helping out, it’s truly an indictment of what American society really values.

BuzzFeed News has contacted ABC for comment on the backlash.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.