Enacting a federal requirement for paid parental leave seems like a long shot right now, though, given the opposition from Republicans who control Congress and the business community.

The nonprofit Institute for Women’s Policy Research has studied the issue extensively. The group says the body of research on paid parental leave demonstrates that there are health benefits for families and negligible costs for employers. The group also found possible gains for employers in productivity and morale.

But Jeff Hayes, program director for job quality and income security, says universal paid parental leave is still a long way off.

“Only about 13 percent of private-sector workers get maternity leave even. And paternity leave is less common,” he said.