New California Governor Proposes Six Months Of Paid Parental Leave
Newly elected California Governor Gavin Newsom recently proposed what would be the most generous paid parental leave policy in the nation: six months of partially paid leave so parents or other family members can care for a newborn or newly adopted baby.
While the proposal still falls short of what most developed nations offer, the proposal would allow two caretakers to split six months off, according to a fact sheet provided by his office. One parent could take three months, and the other parent or partner or another family member could take three more months, or vice versa.
“Look, the whole world has this, except for the United States,” said Ruth Milkman, a sociology professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a co-author of a book analyzing California’s leave policy. “There’s a belief in the U.S., promoted mostly by business interests, that paid maternity leave is costly and hurts businesses. That’s a myth.”
The effect of a paid leave policy on improving public health and the economy is significant. Studies have shown that paid maternity leave reduces infant mortality rates, allows time for transitioning to solids, increases the amount of time women spend breastfeeding and makes it more likely that infants will be immunized.
Paid leave for women also helps keep them in the workforce. And the U.S. lags other nations when it comes to the percentage of women who work outside the home.
We look forward to hearing more about the proposal as it is projected to “roll out slowly.”