Fitting the Bill? The First Federal Paid Leave Mandate

Download File
050423-WP-Fitting the Bill? The First Federal Paid Leave Mandate-Byker Patel and Smith

Tanya Byker, Middlebury College
Elena Patel, University of Utah
Kristin Smith, Dartmouth College


We find that the first federal paid leave mandate in the US, enacted under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, increased paid leave taking by nearly 200% for eligible workers, easing the constraints of the pandemic. Our estimates are based on a comparison of monthly paid absence from January – June, 2020, relative to these same months in 2018 and 2019 and leverage the eligibility criteria of the policy. We find that these benefits were primarily used for medical rather than child care needs, raising questions for optimal policy design within the broader context of federal paid leave policies.


Connect with us!

Explore the Equitable Growth network of experts around the country and get answers to today's most pressing questions!

Get in Touch