Paid Family and Medical Leave is Critical for Low-wage Workers and Their Families. By: Gupta, Pronita; Goldman, Tanya; Hernandez, Eduardo; Rose, Michelle. December 2018. CLASP.

Paid family and medical leave is critical to reducing and preventing poverty and economic insecurity for families who experience illness or have caregiving responsibilities. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 provides job-protected, unpaid leave for certain workers. While this Act is important, many workers — especially those with low incomes — can’t afford to take leave without pay. In 2016, 40.6 million people in the U.S. lived in poverty compared to 29.3 million people in 1980. The growth in working-age adults living in poverty significantly contributed to this increase.