Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Despite Progress Made, Many Families Continue to Lack Paid Leave Protections Amidst Coronavirus Crisis
Press Release

RELEASE: Despite Progress Made, Many Families Continue to Lack Paid Leave Protections Amidst Coronavirus Crisis

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a new column examining the leave protections in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which passed Congress and was signed into law last week. The analysis uses U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data to identify how many private sector workers work for employers who have been exempted from the leave requirements under the bill. Additionally, the analysis explores how the bill’s wage replacement rules put women at a distinct disadvantage in maintaining their income. Key findings from the analysis include:

  • The FFCRA will ensure access to paid leave for 22 million public sector workers and somewhere between an estimated 32 million to 67 million private sector workers, depending on exemptions sought by businesses and approved by the Department of Labor.
  • As many as 96 million private sector workers may lack access to emergency paid leave due to the law’s loopholes for large and small employers.
  • Mothers and unmarried parents caring for their children—most of whom are women—are especially likely to be disproportionately affected by the bill’s inadequate wage-replacement structure for caregiving leave, despite that 41 percent of mothers are the sole or primary breadwinners for their families.

“We’re in the middle of an unprecedented public health crisis that threatens to force tens of millions of hardworking people into what at best may be financial strain and at worst could be unemployment,” said Sarah Jane Glynn, senior fellow with the Women’s Initiative at CAP. “To protect their health and financial security, Congress must build on the recently passed paid leave protections by guaranteeing that these essential safeguards are available to all workers.”

Please click here to read “Congress Must Extend Paid Leave Protections to All Workers in Next Coronavirus Response Bill” by Sarah Jane Glynn.

To find the latest CAP resources on the coronavirus, please visit our coronavirus resource page.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202.741.6292.