The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice


Women play a large role in the workplace and require additional protection during pregnancy, childbirth, and while raising children. This article compares how Mexico and the United States have approached the issue of maternity rights and benefits. First, Mexico provides eighty-four days of paid leave to mothers, while the United States provides unpaid leave for up to twelve weeks. Second, Mexico allows two thirty-minute breaks a day for breastfeeding, while the United States allows a reasonable amount of time per day to breastfeed. Third, Mexico provides childcare to most federal employees, while the United States provides daycares to a small number of federal employees. Fourth, employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy is unlawful in both countries. Lastly, Mexico enforced paid maternity leave to all pregnant employees to protect them from exposure to COVID-19; meanwhile, forced maternity leave is illegal in the United States.

In addition to a comprehensive review of maternity rights in Mexico and the United States, this article advocates for necessary measures that must be taken in order to enforce women’s maternity rights. The article highlights the laws shortcomings and advocates for the law to continue evolving so that having children and parenting does not hinder an employee’s career stability and professional growth. This article argues that although the law grants women rights, especially regarding maternity, the problem continues in the effectiveness of these rights. Women continue to be discriminated by society and in the workplace when they decide to become mothers.

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Date Created

October 4, 2021

Journal Title

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

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St. Mary's University School of Law


Candace L. Castillo