More than 41 million American workers are unable to take a paid sick day to care for a sick child and only 12 percent have access to paid leave, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
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And working moms in Georgia face significant challenges.
Just in time for Mother's Day 2018, personal finance website WalletHub compiled a ranking of the best and worst states (and the District of Columbia) for working mothers.
Analysts compared each area across three key dimensions: child care, professional opportunities and work-life balance. Fifteen relevant metrics, such as child care costs, gender pay gap, median women’s salary and parental leave policy were further assessed.
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According to the analysis, the best state in America for working moms is Vermont, which ranked first for professional opportunities, third for child care and fifth for work-life balance.
Idaho ranked dead last.
Georgia came in at No. 44 (or eighth worst), dropping eight full spots from the previous year's ranking.
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Here’s more on how the state fared:
- Overall rank: 44
- Child care: 32
- Professional opportunities: 18
- Work-life balance: 51
Last year, Georgia ranked 36th overall, but maintained its position as the worst state in the country for work-life balance, thanks in part to its poor day-care systems, high gender pay gap and low female executive-to-male executive ratio.
Georgia laws do not require maternity leave pay and neither moms nor dads have extensive rights in the state.
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While moms may have the option to purchase short-term disability policies prior to conception, a way many women earn maternity leave pay, dads cannot file a short-term disability claim for parental leave.
At least 180 countries in the world have laws guaranteeing some form of paid maternity leave and only nine are without — six Pacific island nations, Papua New Guinea, Surinam and the United States.
In the U.S., four states—California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York—now offer paid leave funded through payroll taxes.
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Here are the top 10 best states for working moms, according to WalletHub:
- District of Columbia
- Rhode Island
- New Jersey
- New York
And the worst:
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Full study and methodology.