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New Mexico Gets a 'D' in Help for Working Parents

PHOTO: New Mexico gets a low grade in a new report analyzing how well each state supports new parents, in terms of paid leave time and job protection. Photo courtesy National Partnership for Women and Families.
PHOTO: New Mexico gets a low grade in a new report analyzing how well each state supports new parents, in terms of paid leave time and job protection. Photo courtesy National Partnership for Women and Families.
June 25, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. - New Mexico gets a "D" in a new report analyzing how each state supports - or doesn't support - new parents and families, with policies that encourage paid time off and job protection when people have to take a leave for parenting or care-giving.

The study is from the National Partnership for Women and Families, and co-author Vicki Shabo, the group's vice president, described why the state scores so low.

"New Mexico gets a 'D' in our report," she said, "because it does include extra protections for nursing mothers in the workplace beyond what federal law provides, but it doesn't require any additional leave, or extra leave, for family and medical-leave purposes beyond the federal Family and Medical Leave Act."

Shabo said New Mexico is among 31 states which scored "D" and "F" grades in the annual report released to coincide with a White House Summit on Working Families held this week. Topics at the conference included paid sick leave, family leave and equal-pay protections for women.

The state with the highest grade in the report is California, which received an "A-minus." In the nation overall, Shabo said, states and employers are adopting more flexible workplace policies that support families - but it's slow.

"There has been some improvement, but not enough," she said. "So, for example, when we first did this report in 2005, there were 19 states that had a grade of 'F,' and now we're at 17 states."

Shabo said the United States is one of only three developed nations in the world that do not guarantee paid maternity leave to new mothers.

The full report is online at NationalPartnership.org.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM