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Unfinished BusinessPaid Family Leave in California and the Future of U.S. Work-Family Policy$
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Ruth Milkman and Eileen Appelbaum

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452383

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452383.001.0001

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The Politics of Family Leave, Past and Present

The Politics of Family Leave, Past and Present

(p.16) 2 The Politics of Family Leave, Past and Present
Unfinished Business

Ruth Milkman

Eileen Appelbaum

Cornell University Press

This chapter analyzes the politics of family leave. Political alignments on such topics are highly predictable, with most Republican elected officials and business lobbyists consistently opposing legislative proposals for family leave, while Democrats and organized labor tend to support such initiatives. Among the broader population, there is a much weaker relationship between political identification and attitudes toward family leave. Ultimately, the popular support for paid family leave made it possible to build a broad political coalition composed of women's groups, senior citizens' organizations, children's advocates, and labor unions to win passage of California's paid family leave (PFL) bill in 2002. The strong support provided by organized labor was also especially critical to the campaign's success.

Keywords:   family leave politics, Republicans, business lobbyists, Democrats, organized labor, political identification, paid family leave, political coalition

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