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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Family Values


While everyone who needs to make some kind of "statement", for political reasons, about their moral rectitude concerning family values, on the heels of the decision to no longer defend DOMA section 3 in court, it pays to focus on how helping families is good for business and how 'budget priorities' are not inimical, except in the minds of some:

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) enables US workers with new children or family members with serious medical conditions to take unpaid job-protected leave, but it covers only about half the workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 11 percent of civilian workers (and 3 percent of the lowest-income workers) have paid family leave benefits. Roughly two-thirds of civilian workers have some paid sick leave, but only about a fifth of low-income workers do. Several studies have found that the number of employers voluntarily offering paid family leave is declining.

California and New Jersey are the only two states with public paid family leave insurance programs. Both are financed exclusively through small employee payroll tax contributions. According to a newly released study of the California program conducted by researchers at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the City University of New York, employers overwhelmingly reported that the program has had a positive or neutral effect on productivity, profitability, turnover, and employee morale. Small businesses were less likely than large ones to report any negative effect. Studies from other countries similarly have found that offering paid leave is good for business, increasing productivity and reducing employee turnover costs.

Read it all, from HRW (and blame the French, but at least there are numbers!).