Click here to read the report, "Expecting Better: A State-by-State Analysis of Laws That Help New Parents.”
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LINCOLN — A new national survey gives Nebraska and 17 other states a grade of F for lacking laws that provide paid leave and other workplace benefits to new parents.
The F grades from the Washington, D.C.-based National Partnership for Women & Families went to states that did no more than required by federal law.
The Family and Medical Leave Act, enacted under President Bill Clinton, requires employers with 50 or more workers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to parents to deal with family or medical concerns.
Iowa earned a C because it has two laws that provide greater access to pregnancy leave for state and private-sector workers. One Iowa law, for instance, prohibits employers with four or more employees from denying a woman's request for up to eight weeks of pregnancy leave.
Only two states, California and Connecticut, received an A grade in the survey.
The study, “Expecting Better: A State-by-State Analysis of Laws That Help New Parents,” is an effort to promote policies that mandate paid family or sick leave for parents who need to leave work to care for a child.
The National Partnership says that unless states pass more supportive laws, or private employers have more generous benefits, workers at smaller companies are left without family leave benefits. They are faced with difficult choices such as returning to work before their children are well or quitting their jobs.
Those parents who have only unpaid leave, the organization said, face financial hardships if they have an extended family emergency.
The survey concluded that the United States should join 178 nations that guarantee paid leave for new mothers and 54 nations that guarantee paid leave for new fathers.
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