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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 Reproduction of Inequality

The Reproduction of Inequality

(p.85) 5 The Reproduction of Inequality
Unfinished Business

Ruth Milkman

Eileen Appelbaum

Cornell University Press

This chapter assesses some limitations of the paid family leave (PFL) program's effectiveness. Awareness of PFL remains extremely limited among Californians. Although support for the idea of PFL is extensive across the state's diverse population groups, the most eligible residents are not even aware that the program exists. Moreover, awareness is lowest among those who would benefit most from the program: Latinos, low-wage workers, younger employees, and immigrants. This has substantially limited the potential of PFL to act as a social leveler by making wage replacement for family leaves universally available, rather than being largely confined to the best-paid segments of the workforce. Unless awareness of PFL grows among the rest of the workforce, the stark economic inequalities that characterize twenty-first century California will be reinforced rather than ameliorated by the program.

Keywords:   paid family leave, diverse population, Latinos, low-wage workers, younger employees, immigrants, wage replacement, economic inequalities

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