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United States is 'losing out' over paid maternity leave: UN agency

GENEVA--The United States is one of just three countries not to guarantee any paid maternity leave, a policy that costs the country dearly, the U.N.'s labor agency said Tuesday.

Only Papua New Guinea, Oman and the United States — the world's largest economy — do not require employers to provide paid leave, according to an International Labor Organization (ILO) report published Tuesday entitled “The State of Maternity and Paternity at Work.”

Under U.S. national law, all new mothers can take up to 12 weeks off after giving birth, but without a guaranteed right to compensation.

“Definitely, the (U.S.) society is losing out,” said Laura Addati, a maternity protection and work-family specialist at the ILO.

Elsewhere in the world, the report showed countries were generally raising mandatory cash benefits and extending the

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