What Do Unions Do for Mothers? Paid Maternity Leave Use and the Multifaceted Roles of Labor Unions

Tae Youn Park, Eun Suk Lee, John W. Budd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The authors present a four-fold conceptual framework of union roles—with a focus on availability, awareness, affordability, and assurance—for enhancing workers’ paid maternity leave use. Using a panel data set of working women up to age 31 constructed from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, the authors find union-represented workers to be at least 17% more likely to use paid maternity leave than are comparable non-union workers. Additional results suggest that availability, awareness, and affordability contribute to this differential leave-taking. The authors also document a post-leave wage growth penalty for paid leave-takers, but do not find a significant union–non-union difference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-692
Number of pages31
JournalILR Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful for the insightful comments and feedback from seminar participants at the Owen Graduate School of Management and the University of Newcastle (Australia) and from the LERA annual meeting and the ILERA World Congress participants. We also thank Jonghyuk Bae for his dedicated research assistance.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.


  • female labor
  • labor union
  • maternity benefits
  • work–family policies


Dive into the research topics of 'What Do Unions Do for Mothers? Paid Maternity Leave Use and the Multifaceted Roles of Labor Unions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this