Make Family Leave Affordable For The Poor

The Family & Medical Leave Act of 1993, intended to promote "the stability and economic security of families," goes into effect on Aug. 5. Its federal mandate of 12 weeks of unpaid, job-guaranteed leave for family and medical purposes is long overdue. The trouble is, many low-income women can't afford to take such a break--typically maternity leave--even for just 12 weeks, which is about half the time most major corporations allow employees. The key to making sure low-income women take time off is the provision of some form of wage replacement.

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