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Family Leave

Maternity Leave in the United States
Paid Parental Leave Is Still Not Standard, Even Among the Best U.S. Employers

Vicki Lovell, Institute for Women's Policy Research, Aug 07. A analysis of workplace benefits reports that one-half of the top 100 "family-friendly" employers recognized by Working Mother Magazine in 2006 provided just six weeks or less of paid maternity leave, and nearly one-half provide no paid leave for paternity or adoption. The briefing paper also summarizes data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicating that only 8 percent of all private sector workers -- and only 5 percent of those earning less than $15/hour -- have paid family leave benefits through their employer. Briefing paper, 5 pages in .pdf

Why Americans Need Family Leave Benefits --
and How They Can Get Them

By: Betty Holcomb, The National Partnership for Women & Families (www.nationalpartnership.org). 2001. “Nearly nine in ten employees (88 percent) who have needed but have not taken leave report that they would have taken leave had they been able to receive some/additional pay while away from work.” Full color booklet in PDF

Where Families Matter:
State Progress Toward Valuing America's Families

The National Partnership for Women & Families (www.nationalpartnership.org).
Feb 07. To address the needs of today’s working families, state legislators and advocates across the nation are advancing paid leave initiatives. This report is a guide to these efforts. The first section of the report provides an overview of the paid leave movement nationwide, including the status of public support for these efforts, past successes in passing paid leave laws, and the highlights of current paid leave initiatives. The second section provides a comprehensive review of paid leave bills introduced and considered in state legislatures in 2006, including information on the provisions of the bills and their status. Report, 41 pages in .pdf

Support for Working Family Caregivers:
Paid Leave Policies in California and Beyond

Family Caregiver Alliance, Jun 06. Approximately 45 million Americans have responsibility for caring for an ill, elderly or disabled adult in their family or community, and 60 percent of family caregivers also work for pay. The issue brief discusses the benefits of paid family and medical leave for this population of workers and outlines the development and initial implementation of California’s landmark paid leave law, and its usage by workers who are juggling the competing demands of jobs and caring for family members who have chronic or debilitating health conditions. Issue brief, 12 pages in .pdf

Extending Paid Maternity Leave: Health Benefits for Children (Overview)
Briefing paper from the Royal Economic Society, Feb 05. Longer, paid maternity leaves are beneficial to the health and behavioral outcomes of young children. A study by Lawrence Berger, Jennifer Hill and Jane Waldfogel found that in the U.S., 63 percent of women who work prior to giving birth return to work within 12 weeks of giving birth, and 37 percent return to work full time. Children whose mothers returned to work within 12 weeks fared worse on “a number of health and development outcomes” than children whose mothers took longer leaves. The effects were stronger when mothers returned to work full time. Briefing paper (HTML).

Mother's Day: More Than Candy And Flowers,
Working Parents Need Paid Time-Off

The Clearinghouse on International Developments in Child, Youth and Family Policies at Columbia University (www.childpolicyintl.org). 2002. “More than half of all U.S. mothers were employed when they gave birth in the year 2000 and more than half returned to work within three months of giving birth. By the time their children reached their first birthday, 63 percent of mothers were back at work. Many of these mothers returned to work sooner than they would have liked because their right to a leave was brief or because of financial pressures. Is this in the best interest of the child and the mother? Do we provide adequate opportunities for mothers to physically recover from childbirth and for parents to bond with their newborns? What infant care options are available to working parents? What opportunities are parents in other industrialized countries offered?” Issue brief in HTML or PDF

All Workers Deserve a Few Days Of Paid Family/Medical Leave
The Program on WorkLife Law, Washington College of Law (www.wcl.american.edu/gender/worlifelaw/). Fact sheet in HTML

Maternity, Paternity, and Parental Leaves
in the OECD Countries 1998-2002

The Clearinghouse on International Developments in Child, Youth and Family Policies at Columbia University (www.childpolicyintl.org). Table – in PDF

Paid Family and Medical Leave:
Essential Support for Working Women and Men

Institute for Women’s Policy Research (www.iwpr.org), IWPR Publication #A124. Nov 2000. “Achieving a sustainable work/life balance is of paramount concern for many Americans. It’s easy to see why: two of every three adults are now active in the world of work, and children are just as likely to live with a working mother as a working father. Women’s employment patterns are becoming more like men’s, but public policies and employers have not filled in the gap between the time and care that families need and the time workers have available to meet those needs.” Issue brief in PDF

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Sick Leave

10 Things That Could Happen To You If You Didn’t Have Paid Sick Leave
9to5, the National Association of Working Women (www.9to5.org), 2005. “Almost half (47%) of full-time, private-sector workers have NO paid sick days. Only one in six part-time workers has paid sick days. Workers who do have paid days canʼt always use it to take care of a sick child or elderly relative. Lower wage workers are particularly vulnerable. More than three in four (76%) workers in the bottom quarter in earnings have no paid sick days.” 14 page booklet in .pdf

One Sick Child Away From Being Fired: When “Opting Out” Is Not an Option
Center for WorkLife Law, Mar 06. Although media reports on the consequences of workplace inflexibility typically focus on the plight of high-earning professional women, the report finds that working-class employees are frequently forced to choose between responding to a family crisis or keeping their jobs. Full report, 83 pages in .pdf

Get Well Soon: Americans Can’t Afford to be Sick
The National Partnership for Women and Families (www.nationalpartnership.org). Jun 04. A comprehensive assessment of state and federal measures governing sick leave. According to the National Partnership, the findings of the report “paint a picture of need and neglect.” Although all states provide sick leave to their own employees and most state workers are allowed to use sick leave to care for family members, no state guarantees private sector workers access to paid leave. Full report, 51 pages in PDF

No Time to be Sick:
Why Everyone Suffers When Workers Don’t Have Paid Sick Leave

By Vicki Lovell, Ph.D. for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (www.iwpr.org). May 2004. Employees in medium and large private establishments were significantly less likely to have paid sick leave coverage in 1997 than they were in 1986, and that workers in the private sector, non-union workers and part-time employees were less likely to have paid sick leave than other workers. Only 16 percent of part time workers had paid sick-leave coverage, compared to 60% of full-time workers, and fewer than 1 out of 3 of all employees with paid sick leave coverage are permitted to use sick leave for medical appointments or to care for a sick child. Full report, 25 pages in PDF

Getting Time Off: Access to Leave Among Working Parents
Katherin Ross Phillips, The Urban Institute (www.urban.org). Apr 2004. This report finds that women are less likely than men to have any paid leave (including vacation days, sick leave, personal days and other forms of paid leave), and among working parents with access to paid leave women are more likely to have only one workweek or less of paid leave, while men are more likely to have more than three workweeks of leave. Full report in PDF

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Paid Time Off

No-Vacation Nation
Rebecca Ray and John Schmitt, Center for Economic Policy Research, May 07. The United States is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee its workers any paid vacation time, leaving 28 million Americans -- or 1 in 4 U.S. workers -- without a single paid vacation day or paid holiday. European workers are legally guaranteed at least 20 paid vacation days per year, with 25 and even 30 or more days common in some countries. The gap between paid time off in the United States and the rest of the world is even larger when legal holidays are included. Report, 24 pages in .pdf

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