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The Effect of Government-Mandated Family Leave on Employer Family Leave Policies

  • Charles L. Baum

The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave to address family issues. Twelve states and the District of Columbia passed similar legislation antedating the FMLA. However, studies in the economics literature find either small or insignificant effects of the legislation on employment, leave-taking, work, and wages. Perhaps employees are unable to use the mandated leave because it is unpaid and/or they do not need family leave because they already have the option of taking off work via vacation, sick leave, and disability leave policies. If so, then family leave legislation may have increased employer-provided family leave without corresponding effects on employment-related outcomes. This paper examines family leave legislation’s effects on employers’ family leave policies, finding significant positive effects.

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File URL: http://capone.mtsu.edu/berc/working/Newton%20IV.pdf
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Paper provided by Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 200407.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:mts:wpaper:200407
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.mtsu.edu/~berc/working/Economics_Working_Papers.htmlEmail:


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  1. Charles L. Baum II, 2003. "The Effects of Maternity Leave Legislation on Mothers' Labor Supply after Childbirth," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 772-799, April.
  2. Gruber, Jonathan & Madrian, Brigitte C, 1995. "Health-Insurance Availability and the Retirement Decision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 938-48, September.
  3. Waldfogel, Jane, 1998. "The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 505-45, July.
  4. Jonathan Gruber, 1992. "The Efficiency of a Group-Specific Mandated Benefit: Evidence From Health Insurance Benefits for Maternity," NBER Working Papers 4157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
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