- The state of New York has passed a law that allows workers of both genders to take up to three months paid leave to care for a new child or seriously ill family member, and more states may do the same, CNN reports.
- California, New Jersey and Rhode Island also provide paid leave. But New York went further, offering 12 weeks with full pay, the most generous plan yet.
- While it's still unknown whether New York's leave law will be the watershed moment advocates have been waiting for, CNN notes that the U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world not to offer some form of paid leave. Note: Late yesterday San Francisco became the first city to approve six weeks of fully paid leave for new parents, according to the Times.
Globally, the U.S. is one of two countries among 185 listed by the International Labor Organization that do not offer some type of paid parental leave (Papua New Guinea is the other), according to the New York Times.
Dina Bakst, co-founder and co-president of A Better Balance: The Work and Family Legal Center, told CNN that New York's law was a "game changer" and would stoke momentum for other state campaigns and, ultimately, in Congress.
Right now, 12-week paid family leave plans are in the works for the District of Columbia, Massachusetts and Connecticut, while 18 states are exploring paid family leave by either introducing bills or creating a task force to work on the issue, Diane Bravo, executive director of Family Values @ Work, an advocacy network, told CNN.
The twist for New Yorkers is that the state's plan, which does not launch until 2018, is partially self-funded by employees via small incremental payroll deductions. Also, it is to be be phased in, starting with eight weeks annually and will eventually increase to 12 weeks by 2021, CNN reports.