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28.01.2020

Type and Lengths of Family Leave Among New York City Women: Exploring the Composition of Paid and Unpaid Leave

Zeitschrift:
Maternal and Child Health Journal
Autor:
Meredith Slopen
Wichtige Hinweise

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Abstract

Introduction

Paid family leave (PFL) is an important protective policy mechanism to support the health of mothers and children and the economic security of families This paper explores the links of employment and demographic characteristics on leave type and lengths of overall, paid, and unpaid leave in a large city in the United States.

Methods

Using a sample of 601 women who worked during pregnancy from the 2016 New York City Work and Family Leave Survey, multinomial and linear regression models were used to assess disparities in the type and length of leave taking.

Results

Women eligible for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) have higher relative likelihood to take only paid leave (RRR = 6.588, p < 0.01). While Black women utilized 3.739 weeks of leave more than white women overall, holding all else constant (p < 0.1), this additional leave is composed of 4.739 more weeks of unpaid leave (p < 0.05). Shortened leave taking by women with less than a college degree is driven by fewer weeks of paid leave (p < 0.01).

Discussion

Using unique data from a survey of recent mothers in New York City, this study provides deeper understanding of disparities in the composition of leave. This study adds to the literature by identifying disparities in leave composition that are masked in consideration of total lengths of leave for Black women and those not eligible for FMLA protections. Given the consequences of short leave taking and reliance on unpaid leave, examination of leave composition is required to identify and address disparities.

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