Expecting Better: A State-by-State Analysis of Laws That Help New Parents
Expecting Better: A State-by-State Analysis of Laws That Help New Parents is a comprehensive look at federal and state laws that provide the kind of support working parents need to stay healthy and protect their economic security when a new child arrives. From access to paid leave to paid sick days to workplace rights for nursing mothers and more, we assessed the laws and graded each state based on the extent to which it has policies that support new parents (beyond the minimal standards set by federal law). The findings are surprising.
- Only two states -- California and Connecticut -- show real leadership, receiving grades of "A-" for having done the most to support working parents.
- An astounding18 states don't have a single law that supports new parents beyond what federal law requires.
- Most states are doing something, but not enough, for new parents.
- And not a single state has done all it could to provide paid leave and other supportive policies.
What makes the grades in Expecting Better especially striking is that we know from past research, including two recent studies from Rutgers' Center for Women and Work, that these policies have significant benefits. Paid leave and paid sick days, for example, promote the health and economic security of families, reduce reliance on public assistance, and benefit businesses through improved worker loyalty and reduced turnover. These policies are wise public investments that help working families and save the government and businesses money. They are truly win-win.