Qualifying for Unpaid Leave: FMLA Eligibility among Working Mothers

IMPAQ International, Institute for Women's Policy Research

January 19, 2017
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This brief explores the reasons and likelihood that working mothers take leave under the FMLA. –About half (50.5 percent) of young mothers (age 18-34) are not eligible for unpaid, job-protected leave under FMLA, compared with 65.6 percent of those ages 45 to 54 (the age group of mothers with the highest eligibility) and 59.9 percent of non-mothers. –Despite lower access to FMLA job-protected leave, young working mothers are more than twice as likely to take leave as older working mothers, suggesting that those who are most likely to need leave are the least likely to have it.