Department of Labor Announces Grants to Study Access to Paid Leave

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced that $1.25 million will be made available to research and analyze how paid leave programs can be developed and implemented across the country. The department's Women's Bureau will administer the funding opportunity.

Greater access to paid leave is a priority for the Obama administration. A number of state and local governments have adopted or are now considering paid leave legislation. This grant program will enable similar actions in other jurisdictions. The Funding Opportunity Announcement outlines the grant priorities, evaluation factors, and application guidance for up to 10 competitive grants.

The Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees unpaid, job-protected leave for workers to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, a seriously ill family member, or their own serious health condition. However, many workers, especially low-wage workers, cannot afford to take unpaid time off. Paid family and medical leave programs help workers with caregiving responsibilities and medical needs remain in the workforce, and paid maternity and paternity leave has been shown to improve health outcomes for children.

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