I love that there are people who crunch enough numbers to support what we mamas already know, the anecdotal evidence that we discuss on urbanMamas and just about everywhere else. As we know, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) doesn't work for so many mamas because so many new parents work for firms with fewer than 50 employees or have held their job for fewer than a year. I understand that compromises are needed to pass legislation, but according to a recent analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, FMLA doesn't reach a whole lotta parents - supporting the need for its expansion not only to paid leave, but to workers at small firms, and workers new to their firms. The holes are so big - as they say - you could drive a backhoe through 'em.
Here's how these number-crunching wonks summarize this sorry state of affairs:
Two provisions in the Family and Medical Leave Act exclude a significant share of those who need unpaid family and medical leave. First, the requirement of a full year with the current employer to make use of leave excludes many first-time parents from coverage. Second, the requirement of having at least 50 employees also sharply reduces those eligible for leave. Both factors may lead to “job-lock.”