Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Dirk Larsen


When the U.S. Congress was drafting the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, it looked to Germany as an example of a country with generous family-leave policies as well as a strong economy. Due to opposition from the business sector and reluctance to regulate family life, the resulting legislation was much weaker than its German counterpart. Since that time, Germany's social order proved less self-sustaining than previously thought. The author compares the relative merits, successes, and failures of Germany's and California's parental-leave policies and suggests that California could stand to benefit by adopting modified aspects of the German model despite the problems Germany has encountered.