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DOL Provides $1.1 Million for Paid-Leave Research Thinkstock

DOL Provides $1.1 Million for Paid-Leave Research

New research will analyze how paid-leave programs can be developed and implemented.

Only 12 percent of private-sector works have access to paid family leave through their employers, a statistic the DOL Women’s Bureau is looking to change.

New research will analyze how paid-leave programs can be developed and implemented at companies nationwide. The studies will be funded with $1.1 million in grants awarded by the DOL’s Women’s Bureau.

The grants build on the Paid Leave Analysis Grant Program that, since 2014, has committed more than $3 million to 17 states and municipalities to support research and analysis on the implementation of paid family and medical-leave programs. The new research aims to support those without access to paid family leave are unable to care for seriously ill loved ones without risking their jobs and losing their paychecks, according to the DOL.

“Research shows us that paid family and medical-leave programs are good for families as well as businesses,” said Women’s Bureau Director Latifa Lyles in a statement. “Today’s announcement is another critical step toward helping communities nationwide to develop the administrative and financial infrastructure necessary to meet the realities of today’s working families while also bolstering the nation’s long-term economic success.”

The following entities received awards to study paid-leave: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry, the Hawaii Department of Human Services,  Indiana Commission for Women, the City of Madison, WisconsinCity and County of Denver and the Franklin County, Ohio, Board of Commissioners.

Research funded will include feasibility studies, public perception polls, eligibility and benefit modeling and cost/economic impact on individuals and employers/supervisors that implement paid-leave program, among other analysis.

Currently, FMLA only guarantees unpaid, job-protected leave for workers to care for their newborn or newly adopted children, their family members with serious health conditions and their own serious health conditions.

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