HuffPost quotes Betsey Stevenson on the impact of paid leave laws at home, abroad

January 28, 2016

Betsey Stevenson is quoted in a January 22 HuffPost piece by Jonathan Cohn, “Paid Family Leave Laws Aren’t Crushing Business, Despite What Ted Cruz Says.”

“Paid family leave is finally getting serious attention in Washington and on the campaign trail, as politicians are waking up to the financial struggles of people who need time away from work to care for newborns, newly adopted children or sick relatives,” writes Cohn. Paid family leave laws may be even more important to low- and middle-income workers who he says are the least likely to have paid leave.

Cohn reports on findings from a recently released study, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Labor, on the impact of Rhode Island’s paid leave law, which has been in effect for a year and allows up to four weeks of partially paid leave.  When legislators debated the bill, conservatives and business leaders warned about potential new taxes and the burdens such a law would place on business owners, writes Cohn. The report, he says, “represents an attempt to see whether such dire predictions came true. From the looks of things, they haven’t, at least not so far.”

“The Rhode Island study confirms what many other research studies have found—paid family leave offers families needed support without harming employers,” Stevenson told the HuffPost. “Just like every other developed country has been able to provide this kind of security to their citizens without harming their businesses, California and Rhode Island have learned that American businesses can thrive while still supporting families.” 

Betsey Stevenson @BetseyStevenson is an associate professor of public policy and economics at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. She served as an appointed member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers (2013-2015) and as chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor (2010-2011).