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.
Bibliographical noteFunding 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.
© The Author(s) 2018.
- female labor
- labor union
- maternity benefits
- work–family policies