Journal of Undergraduate Research


Family and Medical Leave Act, parental leave, leave policies


Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Political Science


The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 mandates that employees be given a minimum of 12 weeks unpaid leave for qualified family and medical needs, including the birth of new children. Unlike many other advanced countries however, the United States does not require employers to provide paid parental leave. Given changing parental roles that often result in both parents equally contributing to the care and rearing of the children, there has been an increase in fathers asking for paternity leave or extended leave around the birth of a child (O’Brien 2009). However, very little work has been done to study current preferences on paternity leave, and parental leave more broadly, in regards to time and type of leave.