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

The state must stop trying to impose mandates and requirements on businesses that our competitors in other states simply don't have to deal with.

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Philip Kirschner, New Jersey Business and Industry Association president. The Associated Press State & Local Wire.

This is why NJBIA and its member companies have been fighting passage of a paid family leave mandate in the Legislature. Despite its good intentions, the mandate would greatly impair the ability of employers to operate their businesses and meet their customers' needs. NJBIA members have sent 50,000 messages to legislators and the governor opposing it. Yet, state policymakers seem to be oblivious. We are teetering on the edge of recession, we are losing jobs, and they want to impose a huge new mandate that has been adopted by only one other state, California...What New Jersey needs now, more than ever, is to have its government leadership focus fiercely on what can be done to strengthen the state's business climate and create new jobs. Businesses are tired of elected officials who say they support a growing economy and small business, only to take actions that contradict their words, like voting for paid family leave.

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Philip Kirschner, president of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association. The Newark Star-Ledger.

This is either a late April Fool's Day joke or Massachusetts should be on suicide watch….Here we are, one of only two states to lose population; sixth-highest tax burden; national reputation for high cost of doing business….Yes, along with our winter weather and everything else that discourages job creation here, we would have the 'most generous' mandatory paid leave in the country. Eventually, of course, the new employee tax would increase and be joined by a new tax on employers.

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Barbara Anderson, executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation, The Providence Journal.

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

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.