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Report Names Worst States to Be a Working Parent — Where Does Yours Stand?

Report names worst states to be a working parent
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

According to a new report from the National Partnership for Women & Families, being a working parent in many U.S. locales is the pits. Their recent analysis (which is actually the third edition to a report that's been released in 2005 and 2012 so far) is titled "Expecting Better" and gives a state-by-state look at the laws that impact working parents and parents-to-be.

These laws range from topics like paid family and medical leave to workplace rights for moms, with the report giving a letter grade to each state based on how they improve upon the limited federal ones. Want the bad news first? No state earned an A — nope, not even one — and 17 states actually flunked altogether. Congratulations, America!

As for the others: California was head of the class with an A-. While 11 other states did so-so and earned a B, 8 were given C's and an embarrassing 14 got D's.

For a visual breakdown by state, the National Partnership for Women & Families has whipped up a handy chart to see where your state falls in the mix:

Needless to say, the NPWF is like a disappointed teacher on report card day. And can you blame them? "The United States can and must do better," their executive summary urgs. Especially because the rest of the world is running circles around us when it comes to this rights for working parents thing. "At least 181 countries guarantee paid leave to women in connection with childbirth, and 81 guarantee paid paternity or parental leave," the summary states. "The United States is the only highly competitive country that fails to provide paid leave to new mothers."

Yikes! One of the biggest issues at play here, the report notes, is the fact that there are only three laws in effect which regulate rights for working parents: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 and a provision of the 2010 health care reform that protects moms who want to continue breast-feeding once they return to work. While these laws were groundbreaking at the time of their passing, those behind the report point out that their impact is limited, since many parents don't even qualify for them.

You can read the full report here, if you want to feel sad or see where your state still has clear room to improve.

Are you surprised about the grades?

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