Family And Work Patterns Shift Over The United States

1954 Words8 Pages
As family and work patterns shift over the years, the demand for time off for family and medical needs has subsequently increased as well. Given the growing number of dual-earner families in the United States, employees often find themselves caught between the pressures of work and family responsibilities, especially during the birth of a baby, or the illness of a family member. The balance between work and family has become an urgent priority for millions of working-class employees because of the high labor force participation and the caregiving needs of the growing population; yet, the U.S. is the only high-income country in the world that lacks paid leave policies. Though some private businesses and individual states have implemented…show more content…
Paid family and medical leave is defined as period of time in which an employee can take time off to take care of personal needs and still receive partial wages. Thus far, paid family and medical leave is provided independently in five states: California, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Rhode Island. It is funded differently in every state, but in most cases, money for paid leave comes from a small payroll tax or payroll deductions. In California and Rhode Island, paid family and medical leave is completely employee paid, while in New Jersey, it is a shared responsibility between employers and employees (Boushey). Currently, the only national legislation that addresses family and medical leave is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) enacted in 1993. The FMLA provides only up to twelve weeks of job protection and unpaid leave with continuing benefits for both men and women who have worked for his/her current employer for at least twelve months, logged at least 1,250 hours for his/her current employer in the previous year, and has work at a worksite that is within seventy-five miles of at least fifty employees of the employer (Shuit). Although the FMLA has been utilized by millions of Americans, its stringent eligibility requirements and the lack of education among the working population disable a large majority of employees to take advantage of its benefits. On its own, the FMLA fails to provide the resources that working-class employees need
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