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Paid Family and Medical Leave: Helping to Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Aug 13, 2021

Key Takeaways

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML), especially for financially vulnerable workers.
  • Black Americans are disproportionately represented in the group of workers most affected by the pandemic.
  • A comprehensive national PFML policy could help to close the longstanding racial wealth gap.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML), especially for financially vulnerable workers. These groups need PFML the most, yet they have been hit hardest by the employment, health, and financial consequences of the pandemic.

As a result of decades of systemic biases and structural barriers, Black Americans are overrepresented among these financially vulnerable groups. Unfortunately, the absence of a uniform PFML safety net has likely contributed to the racial wealth gap, especially since the onset of the pandemic.

 

Chart showing the challenges for black households leading into the COVID19 pandemic

 

America’s most financially vulnerable workers and their families, in contrast to more affluent and educated workers, lack PFML benefits. Prudential believes our nation must look to close its longstanding racial wealth gap, and a comprehensive national PFML policy would be an important step in that direction. Such a policy also would contribute to a more inclusive recovery from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic—and provide an additional social safety net during future economic downturns.

 

Read More

To learn more, read Paid Family and Medical Leave: Helping to Close the Racial Wealth Gap  PDF Opens in a new windowor view the Paid Family and Medical Leave: Helping to Close the Racial Wealth Gap  PDF Opens in a new windowinfographic.

 You may also be interested in Paid Family and Medical Leave: Opportunity for a Public-Private Partnership Opens in a new window.

 

Footnotes

  • 1 TIAA GFLEC
  • 2 U.S. Census Bureau
  • 3 EBRI Fast Facts
  • 4 Prosperity Now Scorecard
  • 5 Brookings
  • 6 Federal Reserve of St. Louis

 

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