CircleBumpCheckedFilledMedicalBookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxCheckBoxFilled

Paid Leave Keeps More Moms in The Workplace

save article
profile picture of Anisa Arsenault
By Anisa Arsenault, Associate Editor
Updated March 2, 2017
Hero Image
Image: Shutterstock

It’s a startling fact you’ve probably heard before: The United States is the only developed country that doesn’t offer paid maternity leave. Employers can offer some sort of compensated leave, but only 59 percent of workers say this is the case at their companies. With an immediate drop off in income and no subsidized childcare, women without paid maternity leave are slower to come back to work.

While female employment in the US has been on the upswing since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we’re just not stacking up well internationally anymore. According to a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, European countries offer a period of 14 to 20 weeks of maternity leave with 70 to 100 percent of wages compensated.

So, as the study highlights, California decided to do something about it. In 2002, California enacted the Paid Family Leave Insurance Program. This allows employees, male or female, to take up to six weeks of partially paid leave during the year, which can be used towards bonding with a new child. According to the study, researchers failed “to uncover any negative effects [of the policy].” They determined it “provides suggestive evidence of 6 to 9 percent increases in work hours, conditional on employment, one to three years after the birth, and possibly with similar growth in wage income.”

This program has had the biggest impact on low-income mothers. While non-college-educated, unmarried and black mothers initially took just one week of maternity leave, they’ve been able to bump that up to four, five and seven weeks, respectively.

“When people have paid leave, it just gives them a path back to work, whereas when they drop out of the labor force and stop working in order to take a leave with a young child, they come back slower,” Betsey Stevenson, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers, told The New York Times.

Other states have followed California’s lead and expanded upon  The Family and Medical Leave Act (which guarantees up to 12 weeks unpaid maternity leave under certain circumstances), like New Jersey And Washington. But a federal mandate for paid leave would be the most beneficial tool to keep moms employed post-baby.

What is your company’s maternity leave policy?

save article
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

child's 5th birthday party with friends
Amid Birthday Party Fatigue One Mom Shares Her Three-Party Policy
By Wyndi Kappes
Taylor Swift and Blake Lively react prior to Super Bowl LVIII between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Blake Lively Says Super Bowl Was Her First Time Out Without Her Kids
By Wyndi Kappes
Tyler Perry on The Kelly Clarkson Show - Season 5 February 2024
Tyler Perry Shares His Secret to Being a Great Father to His Son
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
baby feet wrapped in pink blanket with heart
NICU Nurses Capture Baby’s First Valentine’s Day
By Wyndi Kappes
Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger attend Cleobella x Katherine Schwarzenegger event at The Coast Lounge at Palisades Villages on November 04, 2023 in Pacific Palisades, California
Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt Reveals How She Combats Mom Burnout
By Wyndi Kappes
donna kelce and family
Baby Doesn’t Get a Free Pass for Super Bowl, Donna Kelce Explains
By Wyndi Kappes
dad talking to young daughter
Viral Post Praises the Magic of "Role Play" Parenting
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
mother holding newborn baby
Viral Video Speaks to the Power of a Postpartum Village
By Wyndi Kappes
30 First Birthday Gift Ideas Worth Celebrating
30 First Birthday Gift Ideas Worth Celebrating
By Martina Garvey
pregnant mom with child and husband
Viral Post Addresses Drop in Second Pregnancy Support and Celebration
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
grandpa holding grandson
The Internet Debates How Often Grandparents Need to See Baby to Bond
By Wyndi Kappes
mom and baby celebrating birthday
Study Explores Why Mom Is Likely to Share a Birthday Month With Baby
By Wyndi Kappes
mother holding newborn baby during christmas time at home
Viral TikTok Helps New Moms Set Boundaries This Holiday Season
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
mother playing with toddler daughters at home
This Year's Top Trending Parenting Styles, According to Google Search
By Wyndi Kappes
bluey season 3 on disney+
Bluey Goes on a Break: Final 10 Episodes of Season 3 Arrive Next Month
By Wyndi Kappes
Andy Cohen attends The Real Housewives of New York Premiere Celebration at The Rainbow Room on July 12, 2023 in New York City.
Andy Cohen Shares Why Toddlers Are Harder to Deal With Than Housewives
By Wyndi Kappes
mother reading with baby on rocking chair in nursery room
Inchstones Is the Biggest Parenting Trend for 2024, Pinterest Says
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
black mother holding baby at home
How Black Parents Can Avoid the Trap of Toxic Positivity
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
kwanzaa-gift-guide-HERO
21 Special Kwanzaa Gifts for All of Your Loved Ones
By Ayn-Monique Klahre
jennifer garner and her children next to a headshot of jennifer garner on the red carpet
Jennifer Garner on Why “a Little Benign Neglect” Is the Key Parenting
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List