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Can Taking Parental Leave Improve Your Mental Health?

Posted on January 30, 2017 Author:

Researchers with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health published a journal article that claimed taking paid maternity leave can improve the long-term mental health of women. If you were looking for a rationale to practice your maternity leave rights in California, this is a great reason.

Data gathered from the study suggests women who do not take paid maternity leave are at higher risk for depression as they get older. The study claims women who took maternity leave with full wages were 16.2 percent less likely to eventually succumb to depression.

Other studies have come to similar conclusions. Researchers at Duke University discovered women who return to work prior to six months after having children are more likely to develop postpartum depression.

Perhaps even more important, taking maternity leave has positive overall health implications for children. According to an analysis of 20 studies conducted by CNN, paid parental leave can reduce instances of infant mortality by 10 percent.

If you are being denied maternity leave, and you are eligible, fight back against your employer for the sake of your health, and for the health of your children.

What Are Your Maternity Leave Rights in California?

Last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that will help provide workers with a percentage of their pay while on family leave. The law will go into effect in 2018.

You should talk to an attorney if you are experiencing difficulties taking maternity leave. Your legal options vary depending on your employer and personal circumstances. For example, eligible California workers employed by a business with 50 or more employees can take up to 12 weeks of protected unpaid leave.

It is never acceptable for employers to deny eligible workers their right to take maternity (or paternity) leave. Fight back against maternity leave discrimination by contacting a Los Angeles employment law attorney at Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C.