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Maryland Gets D- For Workplace Family Policies

Vote in our poll: Should Maryland employers be required to offer paid family leave?

Maryland has received a D- for its policies relating to how businesses treat new parents, according to a report released by the National Partnership for Women and Families.

It shares the same grade as Arkansas, Indiana, New Mexico and Texas, according to the May 2012 report.

Rankings were calculated by whether states had paid family and medical leave, job-protected family leave that offers more protections than federal law and job-protected medical leave for pregnancy, childbirth or other related medical conditions.

Federal law, through the Family and Medical Leave Act, enacted in 1993, requires workplaces with 50 or more workers to allow eligible employees to take job-protected unpaid time off for 12 weeks for specific family and medical reasons.

The report praised states, including Connecticut, the District of Columbia, New Jersey and California, that have created policies that went beyond federal requirements and supported paid family leave.

According to the report, Maryland received its D- rating in part because it had no laws beyond the federal Family and Medical Leave Act that guaranteed job protection or leave for new or expecting parents.

"The absence of family friendly public policies in the United States leaves many new parents without pay and in danger of losing their jobs when they need or want time away from work to care for a newborn or newly adopted child," the report stated. "Too many parents must manage conflicts between needing to care for a child and financial realities that require them to return to work before they or their children are ready."

California and Connecticut were the only states in the report to get an “A-.” Califorina was praised for its first-in-the-nation paid family leave law, while Connecticut was the first state with a paid sick day law, according to the report.

A total of 18 states got an “F” rating in the analysis.

Other findings from the report:

  • One-tenth of workers nationwide have access to employer-provided paid family leave, and workers in lower paying jobs are less likely to get family-related benefits.
  • A total of 71 percent of children live in homes where all parents work.
  • Women are primary or co-breadwinners in two thirds of families.

The National Partnership for Women and Families is a DC-based organization founded in 1971 that promotes workplace fairness policies.

Weigh in below or vote in our poll: Should Maryland require businesses to offer paid leave for new parents?

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