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Single Parent Families and Parental Leave

Single Parent Families and Parental Leave

Professor Deborah Widiss has posted her forthcoming article, Equalizing Parental Leave (to be published in the Minnesota L. Rev.).  

Professor Widiss argues that parental leave legislation in the United States often prioritizes treating mothers and fathers equally.  In doing so, the legislation unintentionally disadvantages single-parent families.  Those families as a family unit can access less leave than families with multiple parents.  Professor Widiss writes:

"The United States is the only developed country that fails to guarantee paid time off work to new parents. As a result, many new parents, particularly low-wage workers, are forced to go back to work within days or weeks of a birth or adoption. In recent years, a growing number of states have passed laws to address this gap in American labor policy, and in December 2019, Congress enacted legislation providing paid parental leave for federal workers. This Article offers the first detailed analysis of these new laws, and it exposes how their structure — probably unintentionally — disadvantages single-parent families."

Professor Widiss draws on her comparative work to suggest a different way of approaching parental leave for single-parent families.

CLICK HERE to read more.

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