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Paid family leave keeps women in the workforce, study finds

Posted at 9:20 PM, Jan 03, 2020

States that have implemented paid family leave policies keep women in the workforce, a study released on Friday conducted by The March of Dimes concluded.

The study claims that states that have paid family leave policies reduced the number of women leaving their jobs in the first year after giving birth by 20 percent. The study found that there was a 50 percent reduction in the five years following a woman giving birth.

The study analyzed the workforces of California and New Jersey before and after each state implemented a paid family and medical leave system. In states without paid family leave, the study found that 30 percent of women leave the workforce

"Most Americans will face the demands of having a baby and many have to make serious sacrifices that affect much more than their finances," said Dr. Rahul Gupta, Chief Medical and Health Officer, Senior Vice President of March of Dimes. "This research is yet another proof point of the value of paid family leave, which not only benefits the economy and family finances, but the health of moms and babies – including lower rates of neonatal and infant death. More states must follow the lead of California and New Jersey."

According to the March of Dimes, five states and the District of Columbia have paid family leave policies.

Paid family leave requires many employers to pay a portion of an employee's salary for instances of medical leave, including giving birth. For instance, employees in New York can earn 60% of their salary for up to 10 weeks.