Working parents who are eligible for FMLA unpaid leave (percent) by race/ethnicity

Share of working parents who are estimated to be eligible for unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), for each specified race/ethnicity category.

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Last Updated June 9, 2020
Source calculations of Current Population Survey, 2014-2017 March Annual Social and Economic Supplement, Public Use Microdata Files, IPUMS-CPS, University of Minnesota,


Unequal access to FMLA leave persists


A parent is an adult aged 16 and older who reported having at least one of their own children (including biological, adopted, or step- children) age 0-17 living in their household. A working parent is a parent who reported working at a job or business at any time during the previous calendar year (as of time of survey in each of the four years of the time period) including temporary, part-time, or seasonal work even for a few days. A worker is estimated to be eligible for unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act if they meet FMLA eligibility criteria. This indicator does not measure whether eligible workers actually take unpaid leave or not. Employment measures available in the Current Population Survey do not align exactly with FMLA eligibility criteria. Therefore, to minimize overestimation of eligibility, we follow similar eligibility estimation procedures outlined in the Department of Labor's 2012 Worksite Survey, which differ slightly from the full FMLA legal criteria. Hispanics may be of any race. Data used for calculating this indicator are drawn from surveys and are therefore subject to sampling variability; indicator values should be compared with caution.

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