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Analysis shows growing need for paid family and medical leave

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A new analysis by the National Partnership for Women and Families reveals a lack of paid family and medical leave in Delaware.

The nonprofit advocacy group conducted the analysis for all 50 states. The Delaware findings present a labor market dominated by women and working parents:

  • In 76 percent of all Delaware households with children – nearly 150,000 homes – all parents have paying jobs.
  • Women’s wages support their households. In Delaware, 82 percent of Black mothers, 58 percent of white mothers and 56 percent of Latina mothers are key family breadwinners.
  • Women make up nearly half of Delaware’s labor force (49 percent) and more than one-quarter of its business owners (26 percent).

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act is unavailable to 58 percent of working people in Delaware. The law ensures families the right to take necessary breaks from work. But it does not currently guarantee paid leave.

“Twenty-five years after the FMLA was signed into law, it is past time to take the next step by ensuring paid leave for all working people,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership. “The FMLA has transformed our workplaces and culture in tremendously positive ways, but these data show that unpaid leave is inaccessible for too many people. Working people and families are caught between the demands of their jobs and their families, and as a result, our economy and businesses are not reaching their full potential.”

Delaware lawmakers are considering a bill to offer paid parental leave for state employees. There are also bills in the U.S. Senate and House that would create a national insurance program for paid family leave. Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester is a co-sponser of the House bill.

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