COVID-19 and Paid Leave: Assessing the Impact of the FFCRA
Using monthly Current Population Survey data, this study will examine leave-taking behavior during the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Specifically, the authors will investigate whether and how leave-taking was influenced by the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The researchers will analyze the impact of FFCRA on several employment and leave-taking outcomes such as employment status, usual hours worked, and reasons for work absence (including child-care problems or one’s own illness). They will use these variables to measure leave-taking behavior, including total leave-taking and reasons for leave taking. These data allow them to explore how workers trade off the alternatives to leave-taking, including working while sick or separation from the labor force. Using a difference-in-difference empirical estimation strategy, the authors will compare leave taking in states that do or do not have state-based paid family and medical leave programs.