Eighteen states got the grade of “F” in a new analysis on workplace rights for new parents. According to a report by the National Partnership for Women & Families called Expecting Better, states in this country still have a long way to go in adequately supporting working moms and dads.
“The birth of a child should be a joyous event for new mothers and fathers — the beginning of many happy Mother’s and Father’s Days — not the cause of health threats and financial hardship or devastation,” National Partnership president Debra L. Ness wrote in a HuffPost blog. “But that’s the sad reality for too many families in this country.”
When the organization looked at categories such as paid family leave benefits, flexible use of sick days and workplace support for nursing mothers, only California and Connecticut received the grade of “A-.” Furthermore, just six states received a “B” or higher.
The U.S. is currently one of the only developed countries that does not guarantee workers paid leave after the arrival of a new baby. New parents are allotted up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, but because of exceptions and regulations, only about half of workers are eligible, the report says.
The new analysis does list improvements that have been made since the first report came out in 2005. For example, from 2006 through 2009, nine states established new laws to make nursing in the workplace more feasible for mothers. But the report also indicates that 18 states only implement what federal law requires and nothing beyond.
“Expecting Better paints a picture of a nation that is failing families — and it should be a wake-up call for lawmakers at every level,” Ness writes.
For methodology and explanations for each state’s ranking, view the full report.
How did your state measure up?