Family and Medical Leave

Family and Medical Leave

The United States is the only developed nation that does not provide paid family leave to its citizens. The U.S. doesn’t even mandate paid maternity leave; the only other nations that don’t offer such basic support include Lesotho, Liberia, Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland. After the passage of the Federal Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, the U.S. requires larger employers to offer unpaid family leave to their workers. As of this writing,  California and New Jersey are the only two states that offer paid family leave. 

Commentary

Chamber of Commerce Was Wrong About Family and Medical Leave Law

February 04, 2013

Chamber of Commerce, Wrong Again

May 19, 2011
Family Leave: mother and child

Another Job Killer Lie Exposed

January 21, 2011

Cry Wolf Quotes

On that family leave bill, I think that it would impose a burden upon businesses, including small businesses.... You would be telling businesses, through that act, that they are required to bring temporaries in, go through a training cycle, and lose the continuity that is so important to making a business function well. It has the effect of making it more expensive for them to do business. More expensive per employee, more expensive per job. The business can only defend itself by offering fewer jobs. That's the only way they can pay for it. It is a job killer….It makes it more expensive to hire people, so businesses say we won't hire people.

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Representative Ernest Istook (R-OK). Daily Oklahoman.
10/25/1992 | Full Details | Law(s): Family Medical Leave Act

Even though the bill mandates unpaid leave, it is still costly for businesses….the costs of offering 12 weeks of maternity and infant-care leave and providing health insurance during the absence could run as much as $7.9 billion per year--costs which would be paid by consumers in the form of higher prices, a damaged economy, and a loss of jobs…Furthermore, America faces its stiffest economic competition in history. If our Nation's employers are to succeed in an increasingly complex and competitive global marketplace, they must have the flexibility to meet this challenge. It is vital that we do not mandate Federal policies which stifle the creation of new jobs or result in the elimination of existing jobs.

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Representative Bob Doran (R-TX).
11/13/1991 | Full Details | Law(s): Family Medical Leave Act

We must also recognize that mandated benefits may limit the ability of some employers to provide other benefits of importance to their employees. The number of innovative benefit plans will continue to grow as employers endeavor to attract and keep skilled workers. Mandated benefits raise the risk of stifling the development of such innovative benefit plans.

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President George H.W. Bush’s message from his first veto of the FMLA.
06/29/1990 | Full Details | Law(s): Family Medical Leave Act

It should occur at the national level and not at the state level. My concern about paid family leave in New Jersey is it will make us uncompetitive with other states such as Pennsylvania.

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New Jersey Senate Minority Leader Leonard Lance (R).The Associated Press State & Local Wire.

Evidence

Backgrounders & Briefs

The Work, Family and Equity Index: How Does the United States Measure Up?

The Project on Global Working Families is a study that measures worldwide social safety nets.

Resources

Institute for Women’s Policy Research is a prominent think tank that is largely focused on American women's issues. This covers everything from pay equity to welfare reform to domestic violence.

MomsRising focuses on "bringing important motherhood and family issues."

The National Partnership for Women and Families leads the national fight for paid sick days and paid family and medical leave.