[Ed. – Strange bedfellows]
The economy is thriving, unemployment rates are low, and companies that have to compete for quality employees are expanding benefits, including paid time off. That makes this an odd moment for conservatives to shift their position on whether the government should implement a family leave mandate.
A 2017 working group made up of representatives from the center-left Brookings Institution and the conservative American Enterprise Institute outlined the need for a federal paid family leave law. They point to Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that only 13 percent of private sector workers receive paid leave.
This number ignores a multitude of paid leave options and other benefits that frequently are provided by employers, however. In a new report, the Cato Institute’s Vanessa Brown Calder corrects the record. Citing more comprehensive government metrics, she finds that as of 2008 (the last year for which we have data), as many as 61 percent of women reported having access to some form of paid leave from their employers, up dramatically from 16 percent in the 1960s.