These States Just Made History By Passing Paid Family Leave Laws

America has a not-so-great history of maternity leave. As in, we don't really have any laws protecting mothers or their families after the hard physical, emotional, and financially-draining work of having a baby or babies. 

There are some people who still think that maternity leave or paternity leave is a privilege and not a right. However, the numbers and studies show that not only is protected maternity leave better for the health of moms and babies, but it's actually better for our economy too. Parents with access to parental leave are able to recover properly, take fewer sick days, and raise healthier children as well. They are able to stick with their companies too, creating a stronger workforce with less turnover and decreased training pay for replacement workers.

{ MORE: More Workplaces Are Giving Employees Miscarriage Leave }

The bottom line is that protected parental leave benefits everyone and two areas in the United States have actually made history by passing some of the most comprehensive paid family leave laws for parents. 

10156703466_0303444ea0_z
Image via Flickr/ Kat Grigg

According to Forbes, New York's law mandates 12 weeks of paid time off for both new parents or those who need to take time off to care for a sick relative. So the laws are about protecting caregivers who do invaluable work in our society, not just parents, which is an important realization. As a society, we definitely need to recognize and protect the rights of caregivers and not just put down individuals who care for others for not “working.” Because they are working and actually providing real economic value too, even if their contributions aren't directly visible. 

The funds for the leave come out of part-time and full-time workers' wages, so 50 cents to one dollar are deducted every week into a pool. 

{ MORE: More Female Athletes Are Standing Up Against Pregnancy Discrimination }

California's law looks even more comprehensive, promising all new parents of any gender six weeks of fully paid time off for birth or adoption. The law is supplemented by the state of California's disability insurance, but the money itself again comes out of employee paychecks.

I think the law is a great step towards paid family leave and as a part-time employee myself, I wish I would have access to any sort of paid time off when I needed it. Just the fact that I wasn't full-time working as a nurse didn't really give me a lot of options for building any paid time off, so it would be nice to have some kind of support for even part-time employees in place. 

What do you think of the new family leave laws? 

ADVERTISEMENT

What do you think?

These States Just Made History By Passing Paid Family Leave Laws

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

Tell us what you think!

1 comment

  1. Louise says:

    Paid maternity leave is SO important. I live in Brazil, where the law guarantees a 4 month period of full paid maternity leave. Companies may choose to get IRS deduction and pay for additional 2 months – I myself stayed home for 6 months of maternity leave, plus 1 month of annual leave. It was amazing. The law could be more inclusive and benefit the father as well – they have very little time off, as if their presence could not benefit both the child and the mother -, but at least it provides some nice time for mother and baby to bond.

Advertisement
[x]
×

EverydayFamily.com Week-by-Week Newsletter

Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year! Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year!

Due Date or Baby's Birth Date


By clicking the "Join Now" button you are agreeing to the terms of use and privacy policy.

Send this to a friend