Eighteen states, including Utah, received an "F" in helping working parents receive protections provided by federal law, according to a report conducted by the National Partnership for Women and Families.

Women make up about half of the workforce, and many don't receive access to wages or job security, according to the report. In 178 other nations, paid leave is a guarantee for new mothers. Without the security, economic security and health of families is threatened.

"Some states are doing better for new parents than others," said Debra L. Ness, National Partnership president, "but most have a long way to go to fully protect the economic security and health of working families — and it is well documented that it is in their interest to do so."

The survey gave California and Connecticut the highest grade, an "A-."

Email: ehong@desnews.com