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Family leave coverage in the 1990s
October 1999, Vol. 122, No. 10
This article examines family leave coverage in the 1990s, a period of particular interest because it includes the years immediately before and after the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in February 1993 and its implementation in August of that year. The Act was the subject of a good deal of controversy before its passage, but there have been few studies of its impact to date.
Research on this topic is particularly important in the light of recent trends in employment for women. More than half (52 percent) of women with children under the age of 1 year were employed in 1998, compared with just two-fifths 10 years earlier.1 Research is also important in the wake of State and Federal welfare reform initiatives that emphasize moving women from welfare to work, because these reforms will increasingly affect women with young children.
The article concludes that family leave coverage increased after the FMLA became law, with a particularly sharp increase in paternity leave coverage for men. The increase in coverage was greatest among those covered by the Act, suggesting that the law did have a positive impact on coverage. At the same time, State legislation regarding family leave is also an important source of coverage, particularly for workers in small firms not covered by the FMLA.
This excerpt is from an article published in the October 1999 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 My own estimate from the March Current Population Survey.
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