February 23, 2011

Failing its Families

Lack of Paid Leave and Work-Family Supports in the US

Summary
Profiles of Parents Lacking Work-Family Supports
Methodology
I. Background: US Workforce Changes and Gender Inequality
II. US Work-Family Supports and Disparate Access
Federal Laws and Bills
State Laws and Bills
Opposition to Law Reform and Counterarguments
Low and Disparate Access
III. Global Trends and Country Comparisons
Paid Leave Trends and History
Length of Leave and Transferability
Benefit Levels
Financing and Economic Impacts
IV. Real Families, Real Harms from Work-Family Policy Failings
Health Impacts
Physical Recovery from Childbirth
Postpartum Mental Health
Health Impacts on Parents Prior to Birth or Adoption
Child Health
Children’s Severe Illnesses
Emotional Health of Adopted Children
Lack of Health Insurance during Leave
Breastfeeding
Financial Hardship of Unpaid Leave
Difficulty Meeting Basic Needs
Debt and Bankruptcy
Extra Work to Offset Unpaid Leave
Career Impacts of Taking Leave and Becoming a Parent
Workplace Reactions to Pregnancy
Workplace Reactions to Taking Leave
Impacts on Promotions, Salary Increases, and Development
Derailed Careers
V. International Human Rights and Labor Standards
Rights to Paid Leave
Rights to Non-discrimination and Equality
Related Rights
VI. Recommendations
To the Federal Government
To State Governments
VII. Acknowledgements
Appendix:  Country Comparisons of Paid Leave Benefits