Maternity Leave in the United States: Paid Parental Leave is Still Not Standard, Even Among the Best U.S. Employers

Vicky Lovell, Elizabeth O'Neill, Skylar Olsen

July 31, 2007
  • ID: #A131

(Produced with research assistance by Claudia Williams) Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of the best employers for working mothers provide four or fewer weeks of paid maternity leave, and half (52 percent) provide six weeks or less, according to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research analysis of data provided by Working Mother Media, Inc., publisher of Working Mother magazine. Nearly half of the best companies fail to provide any paid leave for paternity or adoption. Each year Working Mother selects the 100 family-friendliest companies in the United States by reviewing employer questionnaires describing their “workforce profile, compensation, child care, flexibility, time off and leaves, family-friendly programs and company culture.” 1 While more than one-quarter of companies (28 percent) provide nine or more weeks of paid maternity leave, many of the winners’ paid parental leave policies fall far short of families’ needs. No company provides more than six weeks of paid paternity leave and only 7 of the 100 best companies provide
seven weeks or more of paid adoptive leave