California Family Leave and Health Outcomes Study

California was the first state in the nation in 2002 to enact paid family leave for workers to bond with a new child or care for an ill family member. AIR led a research study, in collaboration with the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research, to examine the relations among family leave policy, maternal leave-taking, and child and maternal health outcomes. Researchers fielded a survey with English- and Spanish-speaking mothers who had recently given birth and were members of Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California health plans to learn about their experiences with family leave. Combining the survey data with medical records for 2,000 mother-baby dyads, researchers conducted analyses to explore associations between family leave and health.

Policy Briefs

A number of peer-reviewed publications and policy briefs related to this study will explore such topics as inequality in access to family leave policy, maternal employment and healthcare utilization, breastfeeding, and infant health.

Knowledge of California's Paid Family Leave Program and Postpartum Health Care Use (January 2021, PDF)

This policy brief examines California mothers receipt of family leave benefits and their employment after birth. Findings indicate that women who received higher rates of wage replacement were less likely to drop out of the workforce, return to work part-time, or experience a change in employer.

Wage Replacement During Family Leave and Mothers’ Labor Market Outcomes in California (January 2021, PDF)

This policy brief investigated California families’ experiences with family leave and their subsequent health. Mothers who knew they could receive benefits through the paid family leave program received higher rates of wage replacement during leave and took longer leaves. They were less like to visit an ER or be rehospitalized after giving birth.

Inequality in Access to Family Leave in California (July 2021, PDF)

This policy brief examines inequalities in California mothers’ access to family leave benefits, by income and race. It explores California mothers’ awareness of, eligibility for, and use of family leave benefits, including paid leave and job-protected leave afforded under state and federal policy.

Aleksandra Holod
Principal Researcher