Giving Compass' Take:
- Equitable Growth's factsheet pinpoints deficiencies in justice and economic stability as a result of porous American paid leave policies.
- How have issues with paid family and medical leave reached new heights as Americans struggle through the coronavirus pandemic? What can we do to make sure policy changes benefit all American women equitably?
- Read about how problems with American paid leave policies have persisted since well before the pandemic.
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The United States is the only advanced economy in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that does not guarantee any paid family and medical leave to its entire workforce. Though 10 U.S. states and localities have currently implemented or have begun to implement programs for their residents, there is no nationwide paid family and medical leave plan that covers all workers across the country regardless of where they live or work.
As a result of this policy choice, U.S. workers, their families, and their employers often lack the resources and support they need during a family transition or health shock, including the arrival of a new child, an aging parent, a diagnosis of an illness, and personal injuries. When paid leave from work to deal with and adjust to these moments is needed but not available, workers are forced to choose between their responsibilities at home and earning a paycheck, which can have far-reaching implications for families, employers, and the broader economy.
The coronavirus pandemic and recession exacerbated these longstanding caregiving and work-life conflicts for U.S. workers. As the nation emerges from the greatest health, economic, and caregiving crises in a generation, though, policymakers preparing for the post-pandemic economy are proposing investments in U.S. physical and caregiving infrastructure. Inequities in the recovery from the coronavirus recession point to the importance of these investments. In March 2021, for instance, U.S. women’s labor force participation rate was 56.1 percent, a 33-year low, and women of color have been hit the hardest.
This factsheet looks at research on—and lessons learned from—state-provided paid family and medical leave programs in the United States. Building on this evidence and these lessons in establishing a national paid leave guarantee would address one of the most pressing deficiencies in the nation’s caregiving infrastructure.
Read the full article about American paid leave policies at Equitable Growth.