The National Partnership for Women & Families has just released a report that assesses the best states for working moms according to legislation regarding breastfeeding mothers, parental leave and sick days. The full PDF report outlines all the laws that benefit new parents on a state-by-state basis, but the organization also gave each state an overall grade. How does your state measure up?
Just two states were granted "A" grades: California and Connecticut. The Golden State has a paid family leave insurance program that enables new parents to receive 55 percent of their income for a maximum of six weeks. This law has been in effect since 2004; New Jersey rolled out a similar initiative to the public in 2009.
Unfortunately, 18 states were given an "F" due to their lack of legislation protecting new parents and their rights as caregivers. This omission is serious; as the NPWF notes in its report, "Dramatic shifts in the U.S. economy, labor markets and workplaces have resulted in working families' growing need for public policies that address the demands they face. Seventy-one percent of children live in families where all parents work, so it is unlikely that new mothers will stay home full time to care for a new child while a father returns to work."
What do you think your state can do better in terms of protecting working moms' rights?
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(Photo credit: Mother Jones/National Partnership for Women & Families)