Ideas and Impact

Driving Implementation of State Paid Leave Programs

In this new report, Arabella Advisors looks at how funders can support policy implementation activities for state paid family and medical leave that help workers better access paid leave benefits and set the stage for a federal paid leave policy.

The report explores opportunities for donor investments categorized into four buckets of policy implementation activities: state administration, outreach and communications, culture change, and policy development. In selecting interventions to support, donors will have to consider the timeline and scale of the impact they are hoping to achieve, identify their priority outcomes, and identify which interventions will be particularly meaningful in the context of their state.

Paid family and medical leave (PFML) is a crucial support that allows workers to take the time off they need to care for their families and themselves, without sacrificing their financial security. The United States currently does not have a federal PFML policy. To make up for this deficit, some states have created their own paid leave programs.

Despite advocates’ successes in enacting state-level paid leave legislation, many significant administrative, communication, cultural, and policy barriers still exist that keep eligible employees from taking advantage of those benefits. Philanthropists have an important role to play in breaking down these barriers and helping workers access paid family and medical leave.

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