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Policy development and advocacy: The analysis of a paid family leave bill in the Hawaii State Legislature

The increase of women’s participation in the labor force and the changes in family structure in past decades call for modifications in work-life support policies, such as paid family leave, for working parents (AEI-Brookings Working Group on Paid Family Leave, 2017; Appelbaum, Boushey, & Schmitt, 2014). Unfortunately, the United States is the only advanced economy without a nationwide paid family leave policy (Heymann, Earle, & Hayes, 2008), and only a handful of states, including California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, have implemented paid family leave programs (National Partnership for Women and Families, 2017). In recent years, paid family leave has gained public interest and momentum. Proposals of paid family leave policies have been introduced and discussed at both federal and state levels (AEI-Brookings Working Group on Paid Family Leave, 2017), including in the state of Hawaii. Our study focuses on paid family leave in Hawaii, a state where the high living costs present great challenges for residents to maintain their employment and economic security while caring for their young children and other family members such as ailing older parents (Stern, Zan, & Kohl, 2016). Although eldercare is also a critical issue in Hawaii and nationwide, we focus the discussion on child care and working parents in this paper. Existing policies do not provide adequate support for Hawaii’s parents to balance their work and family life (Stern et al., 2016), especially among low-wage, part-time, and small business employees (Zan, Gauci, & Kohl, 2018). (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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