By Dana Ginn Paredes
In previous blogs, I have shared my insights on why family medical leave is so important and of my own parental leave adventure. I just learned that the Center for Economic and Policy Research released a new report, Leaves That Pay: Employer and Worker Experiences with Paid Family Leave in California (Eileen Appelbaum & Ruth Milkman, 2011) which shows that 91% of those who used the benefit said that it had a positive effect on their ability to care for a new baby, foster or adopted child. And California’s Paid Family Leave program has doubled the median duration of breastfeeding for new mothers who used it. It also benefits new fathers, as the number of men using the program to bond with new babies has steadily increased since the law was first passed.
Is this a covert strategy of La Leche League to get more moms breast feeding for longer? OK, probably not, but it is not everyday that you get to see links being made between worker rights and breastfeeding, let alone how mamas and newborns across the political spectrum directly benefit from progressive policy change.
In spite of the gains referenced in this new report, Paid Family Medical Leave continues to be little-known, under-utilized resource, particularly amongst immigrant, Latino and low-wage workers.
Share this new report and knowledge of this resource to your communities by checking out the Labor Project for Working Families newest tools, A Guide to Implementing Paid Family Leave.