Paid Family and Medical Leave: What Are We Learning from Surveys of Employers?


Thursday, March 28, 2019, 11:45am to 1:00pm


Ellwood Democracy Lab, Rubenstein 414

Jane Waldfogel, Compton Foundation Centennial Professor of Social Work for the Prevention of Children’s and Youth Problems, Columbia University

The U.S. is the only advanced industrialized country without a national policy providing paid family and medical leave. In recent years, a handful of states and localities have begun to enact state or local legislation in this area. The effects of such laws on outcomes for employees have been studied, but we know relatively little about impacts on employers. In this seminar, Jane Waldfogel will present findings from a program of research to address this gap that she has undertaken with colleagues Ann Bartel, Christopher Ruhm, and Maya Rossin-Slater. Administering surveys to small- and medium-sized employers in affected and control states or localities, the team has studied employer responses to new paid family and medical leave laws in Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and San Francisco, gathering evidence on employer attitudes as well as employer experiences. The results are timely and relevant as more states, including most recently Massachusetts and Washington, have passed such legislation.