Paid Family Leave in California and the Future of U.S. Family Policy

Ruth Milkman, City University of New York, Eileen Appelbaum, Center for Economic and Policy Research

Paid family leave helps families and businesses alike. An important new book dissects the accomplishments and limits of California's pioneering law and draws lessons to inform efforts to support America's working families.

Milkman and Appelbaum's new book is Unfinished Business: Paid Family Leave in California and the Future of U.S. Work-Family Policy (Cornell University Press, 2013). (Use code CAU6 when ordering this title from the Press to save 30%).

Two SSN briefs by Milkman and Appelbaum report key findings from the research on state-level paid family leave laws. One brief explores the benefits for working families and employers covered by paid leave laws in California and New Jersey. Previewing the new book, the other brief probes the experiences of low-wage workers with early implementation of California's family-leave law.

In addition to her work as a professor, Ruth Milkman serves as the academic director of the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies at the City University of New York. She is a leading sociologist of labor and the labor movement and has published widely on the experiences of various sets of U.S. workers, including immigrants, women, and auto workers. Much of her research explores gender and family issues in workplaces. Milkman has testified before Congress and public commissions, and she frequently contributes to the public media and speaks on labor issues to citizens' associations, labor groups, and social justice campaigns.

Eileen Appelbaum is a leading labor economist working at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington DC. She has done extensive research on low-wage labor markets and employment conditions. She has testified and consulted with Congress and the New Jersey legislature and appears frequently in the public media to contribute to debates about public policies to improve conditions for low-wage workers and their families. Appelbaum is also involved in research projects looking at the impact of private equity ownership on managerial decision-making.

November 2013