Maternity Leave
The Nation magazine and its workers union reached a deal that gives its female and male workers paid parental leave. Pictured: Secondary school teacher in New Zealand Sarah Ward on maternity leave. Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

The Nation magazine and the NewsGuild of New York reached what the guild is calling a groundbreaking deal Wednesday, one that gives new birth parents and adoptive parents four months of paid parental leave regardless of gender. The six-year contract between the magazine and the union gives workers a 25 percent raise over the duration of the deal.

The deal, which begins Jan. 1, stands to raise the bar for workers at smaller companies. Paid parental leave is still a luxury in the United States, the only industrialized country that does not guarantee it.

The other three countries without government-mandated paid parental leave are Papau New Guinea, Suriname and the Marshall Islands, according to data from the World Policy Center.

Americans who do have paid maternity or paternity leave usually work at major technology companies, like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft and Amazon; banking institutions, like Bank of America and Goldman Sachs; or other large companies, like Johnson & Johnson. Access to 120 days of paid time off to care for your newborn in the U.S. and in the media industry is nearly unheard of.

“Kudos to the Nation for taking such a progressive stance and working with us to trailblaze a path for other media organizations to follow. Journalists are parents too, and it’s important that they have the opportunity to be with family during this joyous period, without worrying about repercussions from their employer,” said Peter Szekely, president of the NewsGuild of New York, in a statement.

The NewsGuild of New York represents about 2,800 journalists and other employees, including the New York Times, Thomson Reuters, The Daily Beast and Al Jazeera America Digital. The Nation agreement comes as the union has been working aggressively to organize staffs of digital newsrooms.

“Parental leave is a critical benefit for both women and men at our growing company and will be offered on a gender-neutral basis,” said Emily Douglas, senior editor at the Nation, in a statement. “Even better, the leave can be taken all at once, or in stages, throughout the first year after birth or adoption of a child. We are delighted that management shared our concern for new parents at the Nation and with the agreement we reached.”