What We Know—and Don’t Know—about Paid Family Care Leave

June 24 @ 9:42 pm

Professor Jane Waldfogel and public health student Emma Liebman locate a missing piece in the U.S. social insurance system.

Though family and medical leave policies have existed in the American workplace for decades, the concept has been receiving increased attention in recent years as a means of supporting American workers, their loved ones, and their families’ well-being. Yet, according to a new research paper co-authored by Compton Foundation Centennial Professor Jane Waldfogel and Mailman School of Public Health student Emma Liebman (MPH’20), although family leave encompasses everything from caring for a newborn or newly adopted child (generally referred to as parental leave) to caring for a family member—parent, spouse, or child—with a serious health condition, the latter receives less attention than the former even though it is “actually more widespread and more frequent than it is for the other types of family leave.”

Waldfogel and Liebman write that their paper “focuses on reviewing what we know and do not know about family care leave.” It lays out the necessity of paid family care leave, those who would benefit, the current policy landscape, the consequences of the lack of coverage, and potential policy responses and their costs.

READ: “A missing piece in the U.S. social insurance system,” Washington Center for Equitable Growth (6.10.2019)


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