At Public Works, we stress the importance of documenting and promoting the ripple effects of public institutions and policies. This is particularly true of human services programs and related policies that, at first glance, appear to benefit only a small segment of society. In reality they often promote stronger, more resilient communities and families in addition to offering direct assistance to the beneficiaries. This piece from the Atlantic does a good job of explaining many of broad-based benefits that will result from Rhode Island’s new paid family leave law.
“Laws like paid family leave can reduce subtle and perhaps even unconscious discrimination in the workplace by signaling an expected, unbiased code of behavior for all organizational participants. Family-friendly policies such as Rhode Island’s new law prompt a broader positive result than their specific legal requirement targets. Caregivers receive a direct benefit from family leave programs: time off. But all employees reap the indirect benefit of a fairer workplace.”