Research Funded By The Russell Sage Foundation Shows Why Paid Family Leave Laws Could Hurt SNF Census
Research shows that statewide paid family leave laws have a slew of benefits for both employees and employers across industries, from higher worker morale to health improvements among children. But for skilled nursing operators, this type of legislation could have an unintended negative consequence: a decline in census.
The implementation of generous paid family leave (PFL) protections in California led to a significant decline in the state’s skilled nursing population, according to a new study in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management — and the results could take on a greater significance as New York State rolls out its even more expansive policy this year.
The researchers used California as an example due to its worker-friendly PFL laws, first introduced in 2004. Under that legislation, employees can take six weeks of paid time off to care for family members, receiving 55% of their actual salaries up to $1,104 per week.
Between 1999 and 2008, nursing home utilization in the Golden State dropped by 0.65 of a percentage point. While the researchers admit that number appears small, they note that it’s all about the context: Because 5.7% of Californians aged 65 and older lived in nursing homes in 2003, the first year before the law was implemented, that translates to a decline of 11% in the proportion of older Californians living in nursing homes...