Paid Family Leave and its Impact on Health, Equity, and Business

Starting January 1, 2018, New York State’s Paid Family Leave Act—a new state law mandating that employers provide paid family leave benefits through an employee-paid insurance policy—will be effective. This study will evaluate the impact of this law, focusing on three questions:

  1. How does the law affect New York employers' provision of leave, employees' eligibility and utilization of leave, and disparities in these outcomes?
  2. How do New York employers view the costs and benefits of paid family leave?
  3. What are the early effects of New York’s Paid Family Leave Act on maternal and infant health outcomes and health equity?  

The study will use a number of data sources with multiple years of data (pre- and post-implementation of the law), including state administrative data on employer enrollment and employee utilization of paid family leave benefits, a large survey of New York employers, New York Birth Certificate data and Immunization Registry data, and a survey of new mothers who gave birth in a New York hospital, excluding those living in New York City.

The research will help fill gaps in our knowledge about how well state policies can lead to more equitable access, availability and use of paid family leave, and to improvements in maternal and infant health outcomes. It will also provide information on the reported impact on the business community.