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Budgeting and Public Policy Essay

The paper “Family Leave Coverage in the 1990s” by Jane Waldfogel aims at expanding knowledge of public policy and budgeting. The paper discusses the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) stating that family leave coverage has significantly increased. Therefore, it is suggested that passed law positively affects the coverage.

The author prefers to speak about 1990s simply because this period is of particular interest for researchers as it embraces the years before and after the passage of the law. Waldfogel admits that the law raised lots of controversy, though few studies had been conducted in order to examine its impact. Due to the passed law more than 50% of women with children under the age of 1 were employed during the 1990s. (Waldfogel 1999)

Firstly, it is necessary to admit that the FMLA was passed in 1993, February, and requires “public employers, and private employers with 50 or more workers, to offer job-protected family or medical leave of up to 12 weeks to qualifying employees who need to be absent from work for the reason that meets the terms of the law”.

The author asserts that in such a way this law ensures better protection from violations of employee’s rights and increases commitment to work. She admits that employees aren’t required to provide paid leave, though they are obliged to provide health insurance coverage. Actually, FMLA was the first Federal Law which addresses family leave and fights pregnancy discrimination.

The author tends to state that state budgets should develop better protection programs and stimulate developments of new Acts to defend human rights. He assumes that state government depends mostly on assumptions on economic growth and thus, officials are rather afraid of working out and passing new Acts. As it is mentioned in the chapter, “officials can decrease or increase projected spending levels”. And the FMLA depends on public budgeting.  (Waldfogel 1999)

The paper “Ramifications of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993” provides detailed overview of changes, new policies and adaptations of Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). Actually, the paper examines main provisions of the act and tends to explain how leaves will be provided according to the act. Further, the authors outline the consequences of noncompliance with the act and the special concern is analysis of operational ramifications. The authors discuss financial implications of the act and asses the role of healthcare management in working out hospital policy to comply with the act.

FMLA ensures unpaid leave up to 12 weeks due to birth or adoption of a child; need to take care of spouse, child under the age of 18 or seriously ill parent; serious illness which prevents employee from performing his duties and tasks. The author provides definition of eligible employee stating that he is defined as “one who has been employed for at least 12 months by a given employer, and who has provided at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12 months before the leave is requested”. (Luecke et Al. 1993)

Definitions of daughters and sons suggest “biological, adopted, or foster child, a step child, or legal ward”. (Luecke et Al. 1993) The author assume that the objective of the act not only to provide job protection, but also to ensure that every employee having the responsibility to take care of children is provided with opportunities to take a leave. Serious illnesses include mental or physical disturbances, injuries and impairments and the patient requires continuous medical treatment.

It is necessary to admit that the article refers to the assigned chapter “Budgeting and Public Policy” because it as it is mentioned in the reading revenue estimates forced policy changes and stimulated implementation of new acts. Actually the chapter provides theoretical framework for changes in public policy to happen and the article aims at analyzing the results. Waldfogel claims that only since 1920s national budgeting and public policy have been paid more attention. National revenue systems, thus, required restoration.  (Luecke et Al. 1993)


Luecke, R., Wise, R., & List, M. S. (1993). Ramifications of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. Healthcare Financial Management, August, 14-21.

Waldfogel, Jane. (1999). Family Leave Coverage in the 1990s. Monthly Labor Review

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