The State of Paid Family Leave in the US

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Media Outlet: Southern California Public Radio

Brigid Schulte was interviewed by Southern California Public Radio about the state of paid family leave in the United States and her book, Overwhelmed

Brigid Schulte... says the U.S. still lags far behind other countries when it comes to parental leave.
"It's pretty clear, looking at the data, we are at the bottom of the barrel," Schulte says. "The United States is the only advanced economy that has no national paid parental leave program."
The U.S. does have a federal law that offers 12 weeks of unpaid family leave, but it only applies to workers who have worked for a company for more than a year, and who work full-time at companies with 50 or more employees. 
"That means that 40 percent of the work force doesn't even have unpaid family leave," Schulte says. "And when it comes to paid family leave only 13 percent of the civilian work force has access to any kind of paid leave at all."
But, Schulte says, paid parental leave is finally becoming part of the national conversation in the U.S., state and local laws are changing, and "this is the first time ever that you have presidential candidates actually talking about paid parental leave."

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Brigid Schulte is the director of the Better Life Lab at New America. Schulte is an award-winning journalist and author, who writes widely for publications including the Washington Post, Slate, Time,  the Guardian, and others. Her book on time pressure, gender roles and modern life, Overwhelmed, Work, Love and Play when No One has the Time, was a New York Times bestseller.