The case for paid family leave
Submitted by merenberg on April 29th, 2019
Nearly 7 in 10 new moms in Louisiana do not have access to paid leave from their job. This is despite ample evidence that being able to take sufficient time away from work has long-term benefits for both new parents and their children. Paid leave is especially important in Louisiana, which ranks at or near the bottom on many national indicators of maternal and child health. Legislation sponsored by Sen. J.P. Morrell of New Orleans (Senate Bill 186) would affect 80 percent of Louisiana workers, giving them the security of knowing they could take time off from work to bond with a new child or deal with a family emergency without losing their whole paycheck. Katherine P. Theall and Phyllis Hutton Raabe, in a guest column for The Advocate, explain why that's important:
(U)se of paid leave after giving birth is associated with reductions in maternal postpartum depression and stress, a lower rate of re-hospitalization, longer periods of breast-feeding (which promote the health of mothers and children), greater employment continuity, and enhanced financial security. Lessening chronic financial stress (due to employment and economic insecurities) is itself a pathway to better health. Establishing a paid family leave insurance program in Louisiana would help prevent the health and social problems in Louisiana that impair individuals, families, and communities - and increase health care costs.
A recent policy brief by LBP's Stacey Roussel explains in detail how a paid leave program could work in Louisiana.
This article was originally published by the Louisiana Budget Project in The Daily Dime on April 29, 2019
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