National Partnership for Women & Families

MEDIA ADVISORY: Rutgers Study: Public Policies Increase Workers' Access to Paid Parental Leave and are Linked to Less Reliance on Public Assistance Programs

April 26, 2012 —

WHAT: The Center for Women and Work (CWW) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and the National Partnership for Women & Families, based in Washington, D.C., will convene a conference call to discuss the new study, Policy Matters: Public Policy, Paid Leave for New Parents, and Economic Security for U.S. Workers.

WHO: The call will feature the study’s authors and experts on paid leave: Linda Houser, affiliate fellow for CWW and assistant professor at Widener University; Thomas P. Vartanian, professor at Bryn Mawr College; Karen White, director of the Working Families Program for CWW; and Vicki Shabo, director of work and family programs at the National Partnership for Women & Families.

WHEN: Monday, April 30, 2012, at 1:00 p.m eastern.

TO JOIN: 1-800-311-9402, passcode: Rutgers

To request an embargoed copy of the report on the afternoon of Friday, April 27th, or to request interviews with experts if you cannot make the call, contact Sadie Kliner, National Partnership for Women & Families, 202-986-2600, or Amber Hopkins-Jenkins, Rutgers Office of Media Relations, 732-932-7084, ext. 601.

BACKGROUND: With growing attention to the need for family-friendly workplace policies, this second study commissioned by the National Partnership for Women & Families with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation finds that family-friendly public policies increase workers’ access to paid leave in connection with the birth of a child. This finding is significant because a wealth of existing research shows strong connections between paid leave and myriad health and economic benefits for workers and their families, as well as financial benefits for businesses and government. The study presents an important analysis for policymakers concerned both with the economic security of families and the economic position of the United States. This is the first study to analyze the role that public policies throughout the United States play in enabling new parents to take leave in connection with a child’s birth. Among other things, the study’s authors find that:

  • In states with Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) policies, women are twice as likely to take paid leave following the birth of a child than are women in states without these policies;  
  • The effect is even larger for lower-income women, those who are least likely to have access to paid leave through employers;
  • In California, which has a longstanding TDI program and the first PFL program in the nation, both women and men are more likely to take paid leave than are women and men in other states; and
  • Women in states with TDI and PFL programs are less likely than women in other states to receive public assistance or SNAP income following a child’s birth, particularly when they also take paid leave.

Contact

Sadie Kliner (202) 986-2600 skliner@nationalpartnership.org

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

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