One pregnant woman is working late into her pregnancy and took to social media to respond to a co-worker who questioned her decision.
In a viral video that has been viewed over 619,000 times and racked up thousands of comments, TikToker Valerie Joy Oresko (@valerieoresko) said it has everything to do with America not affording women enough paid maternity leave.
“I just had a co-worker ask me why I’m here,” she began the clip.
For context, the woman, a self-described “overdressed, oversharing pregnant bestie,” said she was nine months pregnant and still at work.
“I get 12 weeks unpaid maternity leave, babe,” she responded. “I’m gonna be here until this baby is coming out.”
@valerieoresko My birth plan is to deliver my baby in my office so i get paid 🙃 #pregnant #pregnantlife #maternityleave ♬ original sound – Valerie Joy Oresko
The United States of America is far behind the rest of the world when it comes to offering maternity leave. The country still does not have a federal law on the books that provides paid leave to new moms. The Family and Medical Leave Act only provides employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. As a result, various states have enacted laws offering different amounts of paid or unpaid leave. Meanwhile, 62% of the world’s countries now offer at least 14 weeks of paid leave to moms after they give birth.
In the comments section, many expressed outrage over America’s lack of maternity leave benefits.
“12 weeks unpaid maternity leave is literally insane I really don’t understand America,” user Umguroon said.
“America is broken this is horrific I’m so sorry,” user KatieFalks added.
Commenters from other countries also offered insights about how the U.S. measures up on the issue relative to other countries. Most of those comments underscored just how poorly the country treats new mothers relative to others.
“I got 12 weeks paid maternity leave,” one viewer wrote. “I live in Jamaica…a so-called 3rd world country.”
“Here in Balkan you get 2 years PAID maternity leave,” Aleks14 wrote.
The Daily Dot reached out to Valerie via TikTok comment for further information.