These 18 States Are The Worst For Working Moms
3:24 pm, May 8th | by Amy Tennery
But a new study focuses on an often overlooked demographic, asking a crucial question: Which states are best for working moms? And, more importantly, which are worst?
The report, just released by the National Partnership for Women & Families (NPWF), ranks each state based on its laws protecting new parents in the workplace. Does your state have a legal mandate enforcing comprehensive paid leave? Does it guarantee ample paid leave for parents who care for a spouse disabled by pregnancy? If you live in one the 18 states that NPWF gave a failing grade, the answer might be “no.”
The availability of paid family leave programs, paid sick leave and workplace protection for nursing mothers, for example, all count toward each state’s numerical score, according to the NPWF report. And while federal laws already mandate some protections for parents in the workplace, the NPWF measured which states enforce laws that go above and beyond the national requirements. And it found that states without additional programs often shortchange working parents:
Working parents without paid leave — or even job-protected unpaid leave — face a range of difficult choices, none of which are acceptable. New parents are frequently forced to return to work before they, their spouses or partners, or their children are ready. Many must take unpaid leave that stretches their families’ financial resources and puts their jobs at risk. Others must resign from work altogether. None of these options serves working families or the nation well. They hurt the national economy, erode the nation’s competitiveness and cause significant hardship for families and communities.
In its report, some legal provisions garnered more points than others — for instance, California and New Jersey were each awarded 30 points for their paid family leave benefits programs, while Washington state received just 10 points, because its program hasn’t yet been fully implemented. Washington got points for trying, essentially.
So, which states got an “F” grade? Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming. Eighteen states. It’s a long list. And each one of those got a zero-point score.
California took home the top prize, with a score of 125 points, with Connecticut, Washington, D.C. and New Jersey coming in at second, third and fourth places, respectively. Personally, we’re a little bummed that New York garnered a mediocre “B-” rating, with a score of 60. Step it up, Empire.
(Check out the full NPWF report here.)