Paid Family Leave

Source: Lauren Damme, New America Foundation, Next Social Contract, March 9, 2011

The U.S. is the only wealthy country in the world without a system of paid leave to support working families. The experiences of developed nations show that economic growth is not undermined by policies that allow parents to spend adequate time with their newborn children. Equally important, paid parental leave policies are associated with lower infant mortality rates, better cognitive test scores and fewer behavioral problems for children, as well as fewer negative labor market consequences for mothers.

In a new Next Social Contract series, Lauren Damme explores the current state of our family leave supports and outlines the policies that can lead to better economic and social outcomes for hardworking American families.

1. FMLA fails to meet the needs of working families
2. International comparisons of paid family leave programs
3. States lead the way: Paid family leave in California
4. What could a federal paid leave insurance program look like?

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