Erin WongFollow


family, mother, father, parenthood, paid leave, paid family leave, policy, Utah, children, childcare, childbirth, legislation, law


When a woman gives birth, the arrival of that child will have a statistically significant negative impact on that woman’s employment, earning potential, health, and overall wellbeing. The arrival of a child has no statistically significant impact on men’s employment, earning potential, or overall health and wellbeing. The labor force experiences a drain of talent and productivity when mothers leave the market in large numbers after having a child. Many mothers who wish to remain the workforce after childbirth are faced with the impossible choice of their child’s health or their own job and earning potential. Many fathers or partners who wish to participate more directly in childcare and child rearing are similarly faced with social or economic pressure to remain at work and leave the heavy burden of domestic care on the mother.

The United States is the only high-income country in the world that does not provide some form of paid parental and medical leave to its citizens. Parents in the U.S. therefore disproportionately burden an increasing work-family conflict that labor forces in other countries have social and economic support with. In the state of Utah, where families have consistently high fertility rates and large households, people experience an enhanced form of this work-family conflict. While a national-level Paid Family Leave (PFL) program has long been discussed, its successful implementation will likely be far in the future. Parents and families in Utah need help now, and the state can respond with an economically feasible and socially beneficial PFL program of its own.

Document Type

Class Project or Paper

Publication Date





J. Reuben Clark Law School

University Standing at Time of Publication

Graduate Student


Law 678: Social Policy & Feminist Legal Thought

Included in

Family Law Commons