Paid Leave

Due to a widespread lack of paid family and medical leave, workers have to make difficult choices between their careers and their caregiving responsibilities precisely when they need their paychecks the most, such as following the birth of a child or when they or a loved one falls ill. This lack of choice often leads workers to cut their leave short. It can also lead workers to forgo much-needed pay, leave the labor force altogether, or make poor-quality care arrangements for their children or other loved ones.

Our current lack of paid family leave requires workers to make impossible choices between work and family and hampers their economic security, and this burden clearly falls disproportionately on women. However, the solution to this problem is achievable: some individual companies have implemented their own family leave policies, almost all industrialized nations have a comprehensive national paid family leave program, and a small number of states have created successful family leave insurance programs. EARN groups are working to expand access to paid leave through all of these channels. In some cities and states, they are working on laws that would require employers to provide their employees with paid family leave. In others, they are helping to craft government insurance programs that would supplement wages during leave, and encouraging federal lawmakers to consider similar programs nationwide.

Publications

Women and Economic Security in Mississippi: A Data Brief

  • May 27, 2015
  • Staff Report

Across the United States, many women face disparities in wages and employment while providing for their families and balancing child care and other family responsibilities. The growing number of families headed by single mothers exacerbates these issues. In Mississippi, the prevalence of poverty, births to unmarried parents, and the interaction between gender and race disparities makes these challenges particularly detrimental to the state’s families. Attention is being paid on a national level to the gender pay gap and paid family leave. This data brief focuses on the status of women and economic security in Mississippi to inform policy development that addresses the unique challenges of women and families in Mississippi.

Keeping Families Healthy: West Virginia Earned Sick Days and Family Medical Leave

On July 24, 2014, the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, West Virginia FREE and the Service Employees International Union presented “Keeping Families Healthy: West Virginia Earned Sick Days and Family Medical Leave” at the Our Children Our Future Policy Workshop in Hurricane, WV. View the full presentation.