Paid Leave Benefits Among a National Sample of Working Mothers with Infants in the United States
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
To describe a range of employment benefits, including maternity and other paid leave, afforded to working women with infants; and to examine the geographic, socio-demographic correlates of such benefits to inform the workplace policy agenda in the US. Using data from the Listening to Mothers II Survey, a national sample of English-speaking women who gave birth in 2005, we conducted multivariable linear and logistic regression analyses to examine the associations between socio-demographic factors and employment leave variables (paid maternity, sick and personal leave). Forty-one percent of women received paid maternity leave for an average of 3.3 weeks with 31 % wage replacement. On average women took 10 weeks of maternity leave and received 10.4 days of paid sick leave and 11.6 days of paid personal time per year. Women who were non-Hispanic Black, privately insured, working full-time, and from higher income families were more likely to receive paid maternity leave, for more time, and at higher levels of wage replacement, when controlling for the other socio-demographic characteristics. Race/ethnicity, family income and employment status were associated with the number of paid personal days. Currently, the majority of female employees with young children in the US do not receive financial compensation for maternity leave and women receive limited paid leave every year to manage health-related family issues. Further, women from disadvantaged backgrounds generally receive less generous benefits. Federal policy that supports paid leave may be one avenue to address such disparities and should be modified to reflect accepted international standards.
- Bureau for Labor Statistics. (2012). Employment Characteristics of Families-2011. Washington (DC): US Department of Labor, Report No.: USDL-12-0771.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2009) Labor Force statistics from the current population survey-women in the labor force: A databook (2009 Edition). Washington (DC): US Department of Labor; Report No.: 1081.
- Waldfogel, J. (2001) Family and medical leave: Evidence from the 2000 surveys. Monthly Labor Review [Internet], [cited 2013 Mar 6], 124: 17–23. Available from: http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2001/09/art2full.pdf.
- Berger, L. M., Hill, J., & Waldfogel, J. (2005). Maternity leave, early maternal employment and child health and development in the US. Economic Journal, 115, F29–F47. CrossRef
- Ruhm C. J. (2011). Policies to assist parents with young children. Future of Children, 21, 37–68.
- Heymann, J., & Earle, A. (2010). Raising the global floor: Dismantling the myth that we can’t afford good working conditions for everyone. Stanford, CA: University Press. 111.
- WoRLD Legal Rights Data Center [Internet]. Montreal (Canada): Raising the global floor. c2012—[cited 2012 Dec 7). Available from: http://raisingtheglobalfloor.org/.
- Hofferth, S. L. (2006). Parental leave statutes and maternal return to work after childbirth in the United States. Work and Occupations, 33, 73–105. CrossRef
- Han, W.-J., & Waldfogel, J. (2003). Parental leave: The impact of recent legislation on parents’ leave taking. Demography, 40, 191–200. CrossRef
- Han, W.-J., Ruhm, C. J., & Waldfogel, J. (2009). Parental leave policies and parents' employment and leave-taking. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 28, 29–54.
- Maternal and Child Health Bureau. (2011). Women’s health USA 2011 (p. 54). Rockville (MD): US Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration.
- Heymann, J., Rho, H. J., Schmitt, J., & Earle, A. (2010). Ensuring a healthy and productive workforce: Comparing the generosity of paid sick day and sick leave policies in 22 countries. International Journal of Health Services, 40, 1–22. CrossRef
- Chatterji, P., & Markowitz, S. (2012). Family leave after childbirth and the mental health of new mothers. International Journal of Health Services, 15, 61–76.
- McGovern, P., Dowd, B., Gjerdingen, D., et al. (2006). Postpartum health of employed mothers 5 weeks after childbirth. Annals of Family Medicine, 4, 159–167. CrossRef
- Daku, M., Raub, A., & Heymann, J. (2012). Maternal leave policies and vaccination coverage: A global analysis. Social Science and Medicine, 74, 120–124. CrossRef
- Colle, A., & Grossman, M. (1978). Determinants of pediatric care utilization. The Journal of Human Resources, 13(Suppl), 115–158. CrossRef
- Hamman, M. K. (2011). Making time for well-baby care: The role of maternal employment. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 15, 1029–1036. CrossRef
- Cooklin, A. R., Rowe, H. J., & Fisher, J. R. W. (2012). Paid parental leave supports breastfeeding and mother-infant relationship: A prospective investigation of maternal postpartum employment. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 36, 249–256. CrossRef
- Baker, M., & Milligan, K. (2008). Maternal employment, breastfeeding, and health: Evidence from maternity leave mandates. Journal of Health Economics, 27, 871–887. CrossRef
- Ruhm, C. J. (2000). Parental leave and child health. Journal of Health Economics, 19, 931–960. CrossRef
- Heymann, J., Raub, A., & Earle, A. (2011). Creating and using new data sources to analyze the relationship between social policy and global health: The case of maternal leave. Public Health Reports, 126(Suppl), 127–134.
- Vistnes, J. P., & Hamilton, V. (1995). The time and monetary costs of outpatient care for children. The American Economic Review, 85, 117–121.
- Declercq, E., Sakala, C., Corry, M., & Applebaum, S. (2006). Listening to mothers II: Report of the second national survey of women’s childbearing experiences. New York (NY): Harris Interactive, Sponsored by Childbirth Connection.
- Harris Interactive Inc. Listening to mothers pospartum [Internet]. Chapel Hill (NC): Odum Institute; c2009 [cited 2012 Jul 30] Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1902.29/H-27487.
- Declercq, E., Sakala, C., Corry, M., & Applebaum, S. (2008). New mothers speak out: National survey results highlight women’s postpartum experiences. New York (NY): Harris Interactive Sponsored by Childbirth Connection.
- Declercq, E., Cunningham, D. K., Johnson, C., & Sakala, C. (2008). Mothers’ reports of postpartum pain associated with vaginal and cesarean deliveries: Results of a national survey. Birth, 35, 16–24. CrossRef
- Gould, E. (2004). Decomposing the effects of children’s health on mother’s labor supply: Is it time or money? Health Economics, 13, 525–541. CrossRef
- American Fact Finder Selection Population Profile in the United States [Internet]. Washington (DC): Selected Population Profile in the United States [Internet]: United States Census Bureau. c2010 [cited 2013 Jan 15]. Available from: http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/10_1YR/S0201//popgroup~541.
- DeNavas-Walt, C., Proctor, B. D., Smith, J. C. (2010) Income, poverty and health insurace coverage in the United States: 2009. Washington (DC): U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, Report No., P 60–238.
- Paid Leave Benefits Among a National Sample of Working Mothers with Infants in the United States
Maternal and Child Health Journal
Volume 18, Issue 1 , pp 286-295
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Maternal employment
- Family health
- Workplace policies
- Socio-demographic disparities
- Industry Sectors