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MS Ranked 5th Worst State for Working Mothers

By Talbert Toole
Lifestyles Editor

Source: WalletHub

Mississippi was recently ranked No. 47 in the country for being one of the worst states regarding working mothers, according to a new study by WalletHub—a personal finance website based in Washington, D.C.

While Mississippi sunk to the bottom of the study’s analysis, Massachusetts ranked No. 1 in the country followed by Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont and D.C.

With Mississippi in the 47th ranking, Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama and Lousiana followed behind.

The finance website based its findings for each state,  including Washington, D.C., on three key elements that were weighted on a 100 point system: childcare (40 points), professional opportunities (30 points) and work-life balance (30 points).

Mississippi was ranked 51st for percentage of single-mom families living in poverty, 40th in the country for daycare quality, and 46th for the ratio of female executives to males in their respective industries.

The study was conducted based on the fundamental problem of inequality regarding gender roles in a socioeconomic environment, according to the study that was conducted by WalletHub’s senior writer and editor John S. Kiernan.

“Not only do parental leave policies and other legal support systems vary by state, but the quality of infrastructure — from cost-effective daycare to public schools — is also far from uniform as well,” Kiernan stated.

Recently, Oscar Award winner Anne Hathaway addressed the United Nations on another concern regarding women in the workplace that has sparked similar debates Kiernan addressed in his study: maternity leave.

Hathaway said to the U.N. that many states only allow a 12 week unpaid maternity leave, but most mothers cannot afford to take that much time off when it is unpaid.

Mississippi is one of the many states that only offer’s unpaid maternity leave.

According to The Mississippi Bar, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act went into effect for employers with 50 or more employees in 1993. This law allows an employee up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to care for a newborn, newly adopted child, or foster child.

Under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which was passed in 1978, if an employer has a policy giving a disabled or injured employee leave to recover, that policy must include pregnancy.

However, if an employer does not have such a policy or is not covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the pregnant employee does not have job protection while she is recuperating after childbirth.

For more information on WalletHub’s analysis of the states’ rankings, visit 2019’s “Best & Worst States for Working Moms.

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