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Paid family leave

Anne Quirk and her 11-month-old son, Kieran, play in the front yard of their home in Providence, Rhode Island in this 2015 file photo. Quirk had planned to take three months of unpaid leave from her job as a speech language pathologist after she gave birth but she needed five months off after her doctor ordered her on bed rest.

The introduction of paid family leave can have a beneficial effect for both employers and employees, increasing wages and reducing turnover, according to a new analysis by the Rockefeller Institute of Government.

California has seen a 6 to 9 percent increase in hours worked by new mothers in the short term and, and an increase in employment for mothers 9 to 12 months after the leave. Workplaces have also reported less turnover, according to an article by Althea Brennan.

In 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that when fully phased in would make mothers, fathers, grandparents and other primary caregivers eligible for 12 weeks of paid leave.

Brennan interviewed New York state Labor Commissioner Robert Reardon for the piece, who also said that men should avails themselves of this leave.

“The logic is simple: if men are more involved in child-rearing and take more child-related absences from work (such as leaving to care for a sick child) employees will come to expect those absences and will establish a degree of flexibility for all employees, regardless of gender,” Reardon is quoted in the article as saying.

New York is the only country among 41 nations that lacks paid parental leave. Estonia grants 87 weeks followed by Bulgaria and Hungary.

Women’s earnings fall sharply when they have children. A study among the Danish workforce found that women earned about 20 percent less than men for similar work.

“When low-income women have children without access to paid leave, job protections, or quality, affordable child care, they are more likely to leave their jobs or be forced to other jobs in fields that are better equipped for child-rearing. Over time, this choice compounds, resulting in the wage gap,” Brennan wrote.

The full report can be read HERE.

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Michael Goot covers politics, business, Glens Falls and Lake George. Reach him at 518-742-3320 or mgoot@poststar.com and follow his blog at http://poststar.com/blogs/michael_goot/.

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reporter - Glens Falls, Northern Warren County, business and politics

Reporter for The Post-Star, covering the city of Glens Falls, town and village of Lake George and northern Warren County communities.

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