Support for Paid Family Leave among Small Employers Increases during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The United States is one of the few countries that does not guarantee paid family leave (PFL) to workers. Proposals for PFL legislation are often met with opposition from employer organizations, who fear disruptions to business, especially among small employers. But there has been limited data on employers’ views. We surveyed firms with 10-99 employees in New York and New Jersey on their attitudes towards PFL programs before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We found high support for state PFL programs in 2019 that rose substantially over the course of the pandemic: by the fall of 2020, almost 70% of firms were supportive. Increases in support were larger among firms that had an employee use PFL, suggesting that experience with PFL led to employers becoming more supportive. Thus, concerns about negative impacts on small employers should not impede efforts to expand PFL at the state or federal levels.
This article is published at Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World (Volume 7, p. 1-8, Dec. 2021, https://doi.org/10.1177%2F23780231211061959). We gratefully acknowledge funding for this research from Pivotal Ventures, Washington Center for Equitable Growth, Russell Sage Foundation, and Ford Foundation, and support from the Columbia Population Research Center which is funded by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) through grant P2CHD058486. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Ann P. Bartel & Maya Rossin-Slater & Christopher J. Ruhm & Meredith Slopen & Jane Waldfogel, 2021. "Support for Paid Family Leave among Small Employers Increases during the COVID-19 Pandemic," Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, vol 7.