Researchers emphasized the gender disparities when it came to paid parental leave provisions. With women being the majority of breadwinners in their families, paid leave is significant to their financial status and likelihood of returning to work. Although women provide substantial financial support to their families, they are the one most likely to reduce working hours or not return to work. If a woman is a recipient of paid family leave, they are 93% more likely to return to work. As far as income goes, “one additional month of paid parental leave can boost a mother’s income by 7%.”
The study also revealed this bombshell: “Black women lose an estimated $3.9 billion in income each year to unpaid or poorly paid leave.”
Paid family leave can impact a child’s well-being based on the support provided to mothers. Receiving paid leave has financial benefits for expecting mothers and increases emotional support when fathers are permitted to receive paid family leave.
Among the states with the least supportive paid family leave policies are Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana, respectively. Mississippi, in particular, does not offer any paid leave protections, while Arkansas offers the lowest wages for paid leave, and the state does not have laws to protect paid leave.
The implications of this study show differences in paid leave based on race and socioeconomic status. The study reveals that people of color and low-income individuals are the least likely to reap the benefits allotted by the Family Medical Leave Act due to higher ineligibility rates.
The rates of FMLA ineligibility are as follows: 55% Native American, Pacific Islander, or multiracial workers, 48% Latinx workers, 47% Asian American workers, 43% Black workers, and 42% white workers.
In 1993, FMLA was established to provide employees meeting specific requirements with unpaid time off while maintaining health insurance coverage for “12 work-weeks in 12 months to care for a newborn or newly adopted/fostered child,” according to Annuity.org.
However, paid parental leave is not guaranteed in the U.S. as the country does not offer federal protections. Thus, expecting families must consider parental leave options offered based on state policies and benefits provided by employers.
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Source: Black Enterprise