NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

States Reject Use Of Unemployment Funds For Paid Parental Leave

August 2, 2000

Every state legislature that took up President Clinton's proposal to establish government-paid leaves of absence for new parents has rejected it.

  • Lawmakers in 15 states introduced legislation to use unemployment-insurance trust funds to pay benefits of up to 12 weeks of leave for working parents of newborns or those who adopted children.
  • The last surviving bill, in Massachusetts, has been buried in a study committee.
  • An official of the Indiana Manufacturers Association described the Clinton effort as "a backdoor attempt to coerce employers to fund something that has nothing to do with unemployment."
  • Five states already offer several weeks of disability pay to new mothers.

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 provides 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave. But Clinton objects that many parents cannot afford to take the time off.

Source: Dale Russakoff, "Clinton's Push for Paid Parental Leave Falls Flat in States," Washington Post, August 1, 2000.


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