Brooklyn Journal of International Law


John Pietruszka


The World Economic Forum estimates that mitigating gender-based disparities in the area of economic participation could lead to substantial economic benefits for the global economy. However, the international system of sovereign states requires this effort be piecemeal, as each state must set priorities to achieve greater gender parity within its own economic, political, and cultural contexts. The United States, by virtue of being the largest economy in the world by nominal GDP, undoubtedly has one of the largest roles to play in the effort to mitigate this global problem. Nonetheless, it lags behind other nation-states in several key areas that factor into economic participation. This can be attributed in part to the lack of effective mandatory paid parental leave policies at the state and federal levels. This Note examines how New York State, as one of a handful of states with a mandatory paid family leave policy, could more effectively implement a paid family leave regime by looking to the employee levy model similar to that used in the UK, or alternatively looking to sources of international law. It primarily considers how such legal models would offer a broader scope of eligibility, a greater amount of leave entitlement, a longer duration of coverage, and improve funding—while also benefiting employers in surprising ways. This Note seeks to contribute to the literature surrounding law reform in New York State and the greater United States by presenting an argument that the policy developments advocated for here would diminish gender-based disparities in New York State, the broader United States, and ultimately across the globe, while simultaneously benefitting US citizens.