UMass Economics

Folbre examines FMLA in her Economix blog: Right or privilege?

Nancy Folbre, UMass Amherst Economics Professor
Nancy Folbre, UMass Amherst Economics Professor

In her most recent New York Times Economix Blog, UMass Economics Professor Nancy Folbre examines the Family and Medical Leave Act (F.M.L.A.).  She argues that even if an employee qualifies, (their employer must have more than 50 employees and the employee has to meet the federal workplace eligibility requirements) a significant percentage of workers can’t afford to take unpaid leave.

January 25, 2010, 6:50 a.m.
Family Leaves: Right or Privilege?
By Nancy Folbre

Do you have the right to take an unpaid family leave from work? And could you afford to take one if you needed to?

The federal government guarantees some American workers the right to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave from paid employment in order to cope with their own illness, that of a spouse or parent, or the birth or adoption of a child.

But recent research on the Family and Medical Leave Act (F.M.L.A.) signed into law by President Clinton in 1993 suggests that limited coverage, poor compliance and economic constraints combine to reinforce existing inequalities between men and women, rich and poor.


Badgett testifies that same-sex couples prefer marriage

Lee Badgett, UMass Economics Prof. & Director of CPPA
Lee Badgett, UMass Economics Professor & Director of CPPA

During the trial over the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, M.V. Lee Badgett, UMass Amherst economics professor and director of the center for public policy and administration, testified that same-sex couples prefer marriage over domestic partnerships, citing the fact that just 2,077 couples chose partnership while 18,000 chose marriage in 2008 when marriage was legal. (Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Mercury News, Yahoo, 1/19/10)