In this brief, author Kristin Smith discusses two key factors—job protection and sufficient wage replacement—that influence take up of paid family and medical leave among lower-wage workers. She reports that lower-wage workers have substantially less access to employer-provided paid family and medical leave than higher-earning workers. More than nine in ten New Hampshire residents support guaranteed job protection for all workers taking paid family or medical leave. Eighty-eight percent of New Hampshire workers believe that a wage replacement rate of 60 percent or more for a worker taking leave is the right amount. She concludes that if state and federal policymakers intend to increase access to and decrease inequity in paid family and medical leave, they would do well to consider job protection and a scaled wage replacement scheme that allows lower-wage workers to maintain most of their wages. A worker’s financial stability should not be put in question when taking paid family and medical leave.

Publication Date

Spring 4-9-2019


National Issue Brief No. 141


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



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