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[Excerpt] Parental leave has largely remained undiscussed in the United States since the late 1980s to early 1990s. The enactment of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which gave parents twelve weeks of unpaid parental leave, seemed to satiate scholarly writers. Encouragingly, the topic of parental leave has had a resurgence within the last election cycle. This article discusses the advances that employers are making to privately provide paid parental leave to their employees, the impact that makes on the employees, and explores the possibility of expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act to a paid parental leave policy. The United States has historically lagged behind other countries when it comes to parental leave policies, considering other countries began creating parental leave policies in the 1940s and 1950s after World War II. The United States continues to lag behind, as it is the only developed country that relies entirely on the private sector to provide paid parental leave.


Suggested Citation
Clark, D. (2017). The front lines: employer provided paid parental leave in the United States. Cornell HR Review. Retrieved [insert date] from Cornell University, ILR School site:

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