Perpetua: The UAH Journal of Undergraduate Research


Jillian White


College of Business




This article reviews the current literature on job protected, paid family leave policy in the United States. It examines the history of parental leave and the evolution of America’s social fabric by spanning the initial entrance of women into the workforce during WWII to the current prevalence of dual career families in America. The review reveals that family leave programs benefit the United States economy, employers and organizations, and mothers and their children. New York and California offer the most progressive family leave programs in the country and are used as a standard to explore the paid family leave policies that currently exist. The subsequent effect on the lives of citizens living in California after its family leave policy was introduced is used as a criterion to judge the economic prosperity and health of Californians in comparison to the residents of other states that do not offer family leave programs. This inquiry produced evidence suggesting that offering a federal job protected, paid family leave policy is an achievable endeavor which would greatly benefit the American people. However, there are significant hurdles which could prevent a federal plan from being accepted or successful such as lack of awareness and issues of mobilization. To this end, provisions that must be put in place for a future federal mandate to be effective are also discussed.



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