Systemic Racism and the Household Medical Depart Act (FMLA): Utilizing Crucial Race Principle to Construct Equitable Household Depart Insurance policies

This article was originally published here

J Racial Ethnic Health Disparities. 2020 November 19th doi: 10.1007 / s40615-020-00911-7. Online before printing.


Past and current policies have led to the creation and perpetuation of systemic racism. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is an important part of maintaining health inequalities among working black women in the United States. Black women have a long history of disadvantage and current family vacation policies make this population more vulnerable to economic hardship and, ultimately, different health outcomes. Using data from the 2012 Family and Sick Leave Act – Employee Survey (N = 1266), this study performs logistical regression analyzes to examine whether these policies benefit white men and white women differently than women of skin color. Respondents were divided into vacation participants (those who took family and sick leave as needed), those in need of vacation (those who had unmet vacation needs) and only employed (those who neither took nor took vacation). As suspected, black working women (compared to white working men) have the highest chance of having an unmet vacation need, followed by Latina women. In addition, black working women (compared to white working men) had the greatest difficulty making ends meet when they took vacations. The authors also conduct a policy analysis of the FMLA through a CRT (Critical Race Theory) lens to provide policy recommendations that deconstruct the role of structural racism in the structure and implementation of the FMLA.

PMID: 33211249 | DOI: 10.1007 / s40615-020-00911-7

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