Ruth Milkman Featured as Expert in News Reports on Paid Parental Leave

Professor Ruth Milkman (Sociology), a scholar of labor and labor movements, has been a prominent voice in recent national news coverage of paid parental and sick, following President Barack Obama’s call to make paid leave a national policy.

An NPR story last month addressed opposition by business lobbyists to the proposed mandate. However, despite the rhetoric, many small businesses have found that offering paid leave increases employee retention and benefits customers, Milkman said. “We found that small businesses were more positive than the larger ones about the program,” she told NPR.
Milkman was also sought as an expert for a New York Times feature on the economic benefits of paid parental leave. When offered paid leave, workers are more likely to take time off to care for a child, particularly low-income workers who might otherwise leave their jobs. Paid-leave policies make it more likely that mothers will return to the workforce, and eventually work more hours and earn higher wages.
“For workers who use these programs, they are extremely beneficial,” Milkman told the Times. “And the business lobby’s predictions about how these programs are really a big burden on employers are not accurate.”
Milkman has written widely on the topics of workers’ rights, organized labor and gender in the workplace. Her most recent book is Unfinished Business: Paid Family Leave in California and the Future of U.S. Work-Family Policy. Last year she was elected president of the American Sociological Association (ASA), the third GC faculty member to hold the position.

Submitted on: FEB 6, 2015

Category: Faculty Activities | General GC News | Sociology