Paid Family and Medical Leave: Healthier U.S. Families Within Our Reach
Adequate paid family and medical leave in the United States is necessary for the health and economic welfare of individuals and families. Adequate paid leave ensures workers are able to tend to a newborn baby with health benefits for both baby and parents, and the positive health dividends continue for years to come. It allows workers to care for seriously ill family members, aiding their full recovery. It provides workers with chronic illnesses the ability to remain attached to the labor force.
Twenty-five years ago this month, the United States passed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which guarantees workers up to 12 weeks of leave for family or medical reasons. Yet the time away from work is unpaid and there are many restrictions on who can use FMLA, therefore rendering it unaffordable and/or unavailable for millions of American workers. Many states and the federal government are currently considering paid leave policies.
Given the wide range of potential policy options, it is critical to better understand what the evidence says about the most effective approaches to improving health and gender equality while supporting a strong economy. In this section, you’ll find new resources pulling together the best available evidence on paid family and medical leave. These include findings from a systematic review of over 5,500 studies, a review of medical needs by a team of medical experts, and an in-depth analysis of paid leave laws and policies in 34 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries to assess economic feasibility. Explore the resources below to learn more:
Assistant Dean for Communications
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
Phone: (310) 825-6738