A new report says Alabama is “among the nation’s worst” when it comes to doing more for new and prospective parents than required by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
A new state-by-state analysis, released two days before the 23rd anniversary of the day the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), by the National Partnership for Women and Families says few states have expanded upon the FMLA’s unpaid leave protections, or adopted other supports, to assist expecting and new parents who are employed.
The study — Expecting Better: A State-by-State Analysis of Laws That Help Expecting and New Parents — gave Alabama an “F” for “failing to enact a single supportive policy beyond federal law.”
The study graded all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on their passage of select laws that offer greater leave or workplace protections than what federal laws provide. California was the only state to receive an “A.” The District of Columbia and New York earn grades of “A-” and 11 states earned grades of “B.” However, 10 states scored grades of “C,” 15 states were given “D,” and 12 states, including Alabama, were given an “F” for failing to enact a single workplace policy to help expecting or new parents.
“Despite some meaningful progress, too many working families in this country struggle at the very time they should be focused on giving children their best possible starts in life,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership. “Twenty-three years after the country took its first major step to help people manage job and family by implementing a national unpaid family and medical leave law, our new study reveals that people in too few states are guaranteed access to paid leave and other workplace protections they urgently need.”
The poor grades are striking, Ness said, considering women make up nearly half of the country’s workforce and 68 percent of children live in households in which all parents are employed
“At this time when women are both caregivers and breadwinners, and when voters want and need supportive workplace policies, too many lawmakers are letting them down,” Ness continued. “America’s families expect and deserve much better.”
Check out how the rest of the country compares to Alabama: