Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Guillermo Montes, Ph.D

Second Supervisor

George Bovenzi, Ed.D


The purpose of this descriptive, empirical, phenomenological qualitative study, using corporate social responsibility theory, was to gain insight on 15 private employers’ experience of mandated Paid Family Leave (PFL) policy within 17 counties in Western New York. Business leaders and human resource representatives were placed in focus groups, divided by industry. New York’s mandated PFL was implemented on January 1, 2018. The policy enhanced the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by (a) adding a paid component, (b) expanding the definition of family, and (c) providing easier eligibility for employee utilization. The empirical research showed the positive and negative outcomes of PFL in countries with similar economies and in other U.S. states. The research answered how the employers’ perspectives of PFL changed from time of implementation to 2020. A negative perception was across all researched industries when the policy was introduced. Most industries, with the exception of hospitality, continue to have a mostly negative experience. The participants indicated adjustments necessary to conform to the policy. The shared positive experience was the ability to enhance their benefit package for employee welfare purposes, followed by an increase in employee engagement. The most prominent disadvantages were staff shortages, administering intermittent leaves, and lack of education of the policy. Lastly, the employers expressed how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their PFL experience. In conclusion, this research can assist future policy makers. The results recommend adjustments to intermittent leaves, assistance with indirect costs incurred by the employer, proper policy education, and considering a different roll out strategy.

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