Parental leave laws in every state

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Lovevery

Parental leave laws in every state

Written by: Nicole Johnson, Researched By Diana Shishkina

The United States falls behind when it comes to parental and family leave laws. It is the only industrialized nation in the world among 42 countries analyzed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development that does not have any federally mandated paid parental leave policy. Several countries do offer extensive parental leave, such as Sweden, that offers robust parental leave with parents sharing 480 days of paid parental leave per child, at 80% of the stay-at-home parent’s salary.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further demonstrated the need for the United States to update its parental leave policies on both the federal and state levels. While subpar laws surrounding family and parental leave makes things difficult for parents across the country, many state legislatures have introduced bills that will allow for some type of paid parental leave in the future. Several bills have been introduced at the federal level as well, including The New Parent Act, The Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, and The Cradle Act.

Some private-sector companies have also set up their own parental leave policies to help parents in the United States balance work and parenthood. In August 2015, streaming giant Netflix announced it would offer unlimited paid parental leave for up to a year for its salaried employees following the birth or adoption of a child. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also offers one full year of paid leave to both new birth and adoptive parents who work full time, proving that parental leave is important to American families.

Lovevery compiled data on each state’s parental leave program by combining the National Partnership for Women and Families’ 2018 analysis of states’ parental leave laws with updated 2020–2021 parental leave policies. These updated policies come from every state’s labor laws, as well as analyses from A Better Balance and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Data points include the parental and medical leave provided to parents who are pregnant or just gave birth, as well as whether the state offers paid sick days, job protection, and expanded eligibility for receiving unpaid leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The Family Medical and Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for workers to care for a family member with serious health conditions or for children who were just born or adopted. To qualify for the FMLA, an employee has to work for at least 12 months and at least 1,250 hours for an employer with more than 50 employees within a 75-mile radius. Some states have adopted additional policies to expand leave eligibility to people working in smaller businesses or who worked for a shorter amount of time.

Lovevery also included the benefit amount, duration of leave, and eligibility requirements for the state parental leave. Please note that the policies mentioned in this story mainly apply to private sector employees, and every employer has its own parental leave policy, so these laws are subject to change. Additionally, given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, both federal and state parental leave laws could be temporarily affected.

Continue reading to find out what parental leave is like in your state.

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Alabama

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

While Alabama doesn’t offer much when it comes to parental leave, several large companies in the state offer it. Baker Donelson, Maynard Cooper, Balch & Bingham, and Bradley provide 16 weeks of paid parental leave to their attorneys. Alabama Power, the Alabama-based utility company, offers 12 weeks of paid maternity leave and 12 weeks of paid leave for adoptive parents.

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Alaska

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); yes (public sector)

Though Alaska does not offer paid parental leave, The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, which employs hundreds in the state, was a trailblazer when it began offering eight weeks of paid parental leave in 2015. This leave meant employees didn’t have to tap into accrued leave. Employees can also access the 12 weeks of unpaid leave offered through FMLA after their eight paid weeks end.

Arizona
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Arizona

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: yes
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

With the expiration of the benefits of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Arizona families have to rely on FMLA or the state Paid Sick Time Law under which employers are required to provide all part-time employees at least 24 hours and all full-time employees at least 40 hours of paid sick time annually. This paid sick time can cover several COVID-19 related events, including time off when an employee or family member is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, is diagnosed with and being treated for COVID-19, an employee needs to care for a child whose child care or school has been closed by order of a public official, or a public health official determines an employee or family member’s presence in the community may jeopardize the health of others due to exposure to COVID-19.

There are also several companies in Arizona that offer paid parental time off including GoDaddy, which offers 12 paid weeks of parental leave for all new parents and provides birthing mothers extended recovery time with an additional six weeks of paid time off.

Arkansas
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Arkansas

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); yes for pregnancy disability leave (public sector)

In Arkansas, certain employers are offering COVID-19 sick leave to employees to care for themselves or their children and families. The University of Arkansas offers up to 80 total hours of paid leave for employees affected by COVID-19, and the program is not a continuation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Employees of the Little Rock School District will be provided with up to 20 days of leave with the opportunity for more if they contract COVID-19 or are quarantined because of exposure to it and are unable to work from home.

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California

– Parental and medical leave: paid
— Benefit amount: up to 100% of California’s average weekly wage ($1,357 per week)
— Duration of leave: up to eight weeks in 12-month period (paid family leave)
— Requirements to be eligible: at least $300 earned in wages
— Job protection: yes, but only for workers who are disabled due to pregnancy or childbirth
– Paid sick days: yes
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes for pregnancy disability leave (private sector); yes for pregnancy disability leave (public sector)

While the state’s COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (CSPSL) expired along with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on Dec. 31, 2020, California employers are still allowed to take federal tax credits for voluntarily providing COVID-19 leave through March 31, 2021. Some local governments, including the city and county of San Francisco, San Mateo County, and Sacramento County, have extended their local sick leave ordinances to require covered employers to provide paid COVID-19 sick leave into 2021. Gov. Gavin Newsom also recently signed several bills that expand the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), and the changes include an expansion of the definition of family member as well as granting additional leave for parents who work for the same employer.

Colorado
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Colorado

– Parental and medical leave: paid
— Benefit amount: up to $1,100 at first, then adjusted to 90% of Colorado’s average weekly wage
— Duration of leave: up to 12 weeks in 12-month period (paid leave), additional four weeks can be added if health issues arise from pregnancy or childbirth
— Requirements to be eligible: working at least 180 days and earning at least $2,500
— Job protection: yes for those employer for at least 180 days
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes (private sector); yes (public sector)

Senate Bill 20-205, Sick Leave for Employees, came as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it allows for sick paid leave to begin accruing as soon as employment begins. Under the Healthy Families & Workplaces Act (HFWA), employers of all sizes, minus the exemption listed below, must provide Public Health Emergency Leave in 2021, and employers must provide up to 80 hours of Public Health Emergency Leave in 2021 from the day a public health emergency (PHE) is declared until four weeks after the PHE ends. This is regardless of whether they already supplied paid leave related to COVID-19 in 2020. The leave can be used to care for a sick family, or when a child’s school is closed, though there are a few exemptions including the for employers with 15 or fewer employees until Jan. 1, 2022.

Connecticut
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Connecticut

– Parental and medical leave: paid
— Benefit amount: up to 60 times the Connecticut minimum wage
— Duration of leave: up to 12 weeks in 12-month period (paid leave), additional two weeks can be added if health issues arise from pregnancy or childbirth
— Requirements to be eligible: at least 12 weeks of working for current employer
— Job protection: yes, for workers who have been employed for at least three months
– Paid sick days: yes
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes (private sector); yes (public sector)

Though Connecticut has the Paid Family Medical Leave program, administered by the Paid Leave Authority, the ability to utilize the benefits won’t begin until Jan. 1, 2022. The program will be funded by employees and voluntary self-enrolled participants, and the collection of wage deductions began on Jan. 1, 2021. The program will allow leave to care for a family member experiencing a serious health condition as well as to care for a new child by birth or adoption.

Delaware
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Delaware

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

Gov. John Carney signed legislation that provides 12 weeks of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child. The law applies to full-time state workers, including teachers, who have been on the job for a year, and it went into effect in April 2019. Several major corporations in the private sector, including Bank of America, DuPont, and AstraZeneca, offer Delawareans paid parental or family leave.

Florida
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Florida

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); yes for family care leave and parental leave (public sector)

While Florida does not offer paid parental leave, and the Florida Family Leave Act did not pass through Congress, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio introduced The New Parents Act. The federal program would allow new U.S. parents to pay for parental leave by taking an early withdrawal from their Social Security retirement benefits during the first year after the birth or adoption of a child. It has made little progress in Congress.

Georgia
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Georgia

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

In late January 2021, Georgia lawmakers revived a bill that would provide state workers, including teachers, with three weeks of paid family leave. Georgia HB1094 stalled in June 2020 when the House disagreed with the Senate substitute.

Hawaii
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Hawaii

– Parental and medical leave: paid for medical leave only
— Benefit amount: up to 58% of Hawaii’s average weekly wage (maximum of $1,088.08)
— Duration of leave: up to 26 weeks (unpaid leave unless for medical reasons)
— Requirements to be eligible: at least 14 weeks of working in Hawaii
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes (private sector); yes (public sector)

Hawaii continues to fight for paid parental leave. SB2491 would allow for 16 weeks of paid leave for employees to care for family members such as a newborn baby or a sick parent or child.

Idaho
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Idaho

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

The Families First Act executive order went into effect in July 2020. Ordered under Gov. Brad Little, it provides eight weeks of paid leave for eligible employees of Idaho’s executive branch agencies following the birth or adoption of a child. While Idaho has no paid leave for private-sector employees as of early 2021, many Idaho companies offer paid parental leave.

Editor’s note: Lovevery offers employees 16 weeks (4 months) of paid leave for a birth parent and 8 weeks (2 months) paid leave for a non-birth parent. “Non-birth” also extends to a family who may adopt or become a parent in a different way.

Illinois
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Illinois

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); yes for family care leave and parental leave (public sector)

While Cook County and the City of Chicago both have a paid sick leave ordinance, the state of Illinois does not. It also does not offer any type of paid parental leave, though several major Illinois employers do, including Shoprunner and Outcome Health, who both offer 16 paid weeks of maternity leave.

Indiana
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Indiana

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

While New Parent Leave offers paid leave to state employees and has been available in Indiana since 2018, private sector employees still have no access to paid parental leave. Advocacy groups like Women4Change continue to fight for legislation that will provide parental leave to all Indiana employees whether they work in the public or private sector.

Iowa
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Iowa

– Parental and medical leave: none
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: up to eight weeks (unpaid leave)
— Requirements to be eligible: working for an employer with 4+ employees
— Job protection: yes
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes for pregnancy disability leave (private sector); yes for pregnancy disability leave (public sector)

The Iowa legislature introduced a bill creating the Iowa Family and Medical Leave Act, which would provide for a maximum combined total of paid family leave and medical leave of 16 weeks. IA HF2223, another bill surrounding paid sick leave and establishing a family leave and medical leave insurance program, failed in 2020.

Kansas
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Kansas

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); yes (public sector)

State employees in Kansas qualify for paid parental leave. Because of this, advocacy groups continue to fight for something similar in the private sector. The voluntary sector nonprofit Kansas Health Institute established its Paid Parental Leave Policy in 2018. It allows eligible mothers and fathers the ability to take up to three months of fully paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child, and the company also increased the number of months new parents can bring their infants to work on a daily basis from five months to six months.

Kentucky
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Kentucky

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); yes (public sector)

Though the state of Kentucky offers no paid parental leave, a bill was introduced in the House in 2019. If it passes, HB176 states, “An employer with 50 or more employees shall provide 12 weeks of paid leave for an employee upon the birth of a child, including by a surrogate, or the adoption of a child under the age of 6 if the employee has been employed by the employer for at least one year.”

Louisiana
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Louisiana

– Parental and medical leave: unpaid
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: up to six weeks (unpaid), can be extended to four months if health issues arise from pregnancy or childbirth
— Requirements to be eligible: working 20+ calendar weeks for an employer with 25+ employees
— Job protection: none
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes for pregnancy disability leave (private sector); yes for pregnancy disability leave (public sector)

On May 2, 2019, the Louisiana Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee advanced legislation in SB186 to institute statewide paid family and medical leave. The bill proposed a small portion of an employee’s pay be withheld and redirected to a fund dedicated to financing family leave. It died in committee.

Maine
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Maine

– Parental and medical leave: none
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: up to 10 weeks (unpaid leave)
— Requirements to be eligible: at least 12 consecutive months working for an employer with 15+ employees
— Job protection: yes
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes (private sector); yes (public sector)

While Maine does not offer paid parental leave, the state does offer an earned paid leave law that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2021. Several of the state’s largest employers also offer paid parental leave.

Maryland
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Maryland

– Parental and medical leave: unpaid
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: up to 12 weeks (unpaid leave)
— Requirements to be eligible: at least 1,250+ hours of working in the past year for an employer with 15 employees
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: yes
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector), no (public sector)

Though a bill passed allowing for paid parental leave for certain state workers, advocacy groups continue to push for paid parental leave. Newly proposed legislation known as The Time to Care Act of 2021 or SB 211/HB 375 Labor and Employment-Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program-Establishment would make paid leave available to Maryland workers for up to 12 weeks following the birth or adoption of a child, and when needed to provide care for a family member or oneself. It would be funded through an insurance pool, into which workers and their employers contribute.

Massachusetts
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Massachusetts

– Parental and medical leave: paid
— Benefit amount: up to $850 at first, then adjusted to 64% of Massachusetts’ average weekly wage
— Duration of leave: up to 12 weeks in 12-month period (paid family leave)
— Requirements to be eligible: working for employer with 8+ workers
— Job protection: yes
– Paid sick days: yes
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes (private sector); yes (public sector)

Massachusetts has some of the most progressive parental leave laws in the United States. Many went into effect in January 2021. The state also has emergency regulations surrounding family and parental leave during COVID-19.

Michigan
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Michigan

– Parental and medical leave: paid time off (PTO) only
— Benefit amount: up to 100% of employee’s wages
— Duration of leave: one hour for every 35 hours worked (paid leave, but not limited to just pregnancy and childbirth)
— Requirements to be eligible: working for a private sector employer with at least 50+ employees
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

Paid parental leave for Michigan state workers went into effect on Oct. 1, 2020. Several companies offer paid parental leave to private sector employees, though no state-mandated parental leave policy currently exists. Quicken Loans, which is headquartered in Detroit, provides six weeks of paid parental leave for a child’s primary caregiver with two additional weeks offered once that primary caregiver returns to the job.

Minnesota
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Minnesota

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes for parental leave and pregnancy disability leave (private sector); yes for parental leave and pregnancy disability leave (public sector)

The Minnesota House of Representatives passed the Paid Family & Medical Leave Act on March 5, 2020. If the bill passes the Minnesota Senate and is approved by the governor, Minnesota employees will be able to access up to 12 weeks of paid time off with the arrival of a child or to care for an ailing relative using a $1.35 billion state fund.

Mississippi
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Mississippi

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

In 2019, HB1089 was introduced, and among several other aims intended to help women, the bill would have provided for paid sick and safe leave time. It would also have established the Mississippi Paid Family Leave Act. The bill died in committee.

MIssouri
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Missouri

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

Though Missouri does not have any paid parental leave, in Jackson County an executive order went into effect in June 2020. It established up to 12 weeks of guaranteed paid parental leave for all eligible staff following the birth or adoption of a child and the new paid parental leave policy, which adds an additional seven weeks to the current policy of five weeks, and extends to same-sex parents.

Montana
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Montana

– Parental and medical leave: none
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: determined by employer
— Requirements to be eligible: pregnant employees
— Job protection: yes
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes for pregnancy disability leave (private sector); yes for parental leave and pregnancy disability leave (public sector)

While Montana does not offer paid parental leave, in February 2021, Democratic legislators are taking a third run at paid family leave in Montana. HB228 would create a statewide fund to pay employees if they need to temporarily leave their jobs for a medical or family emergency. Employers and employees would pay into the fund.

Nebraska
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Nebraska

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

Legislature Bill 311 would require paid family and medical leave for Nebraska and marks the first time that a family leave proposal has advanced to debate by the full Legislature. The bill stalled after being postponed indefinitely in August 2020, leaving Nebraska without paid parental leave benefits.

Nevada
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Nevada

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

While the Nevada sick leave law, known as SB 312 went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, the state has no paid parental leave law. The sick leave law in Nevada means private-sector employers must now provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave per benefit year. Several Nevada employers offer paid parental leave.

New Hampshire
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New Hampshire

– Parental and medical leave: paid for pregnancy disability only
— Benefit amount: equivalent to other disability payments
— Duration of leave: pregnancy disability benefits determined by physician
— Requirements to be eligible: employees with disabilities due to pregnancy or childbirth.
— Job protection: yes
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes for pregnancy disability leave (private sector); yes for pregnancy disability leave (public sector)

While the state of New Hampshire allows paid leave for a disability that occurs due to pregnancy or childbirth, it only lasts as long as the disability does, and the state has no paid parental leave aside from the federal FMLA. The House passed the Paid Family Leave Bill, but New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed the bill in July 2020.

New Jersey
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New Jersey

– Parental and medical leave: paid
— Benefit amount: up to 70% of New Jersey’s average weekly wage ($903 per week)
— Duration of leave: up to 12 weeks in 12-month period (paid family leave)
— Requirements to be eligible: new parents working at least 20 weeks or earning $8,600
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: yes
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes for family care leave and parental leave (private sector); yes for family care leave and parental leave (public sector)

The New Jersey Senate Bill 2304 concerns family leave and disability benefits during epidemic-related emergencies. The bill states, “During a state of emergency declared by the governor, or when indicated to be needed by the commissioner of health or other public health authority, ‘serious health condition’ shall also include an illness caused by an epidemic of a communicable disease, a known or suspected exposure to a communicable disease, or efforts to prevent spread of a communicable disease, which requires in-home care or treatment of a family member of the employee due to: (1) the issuance by a health care provider or the commissioner or other public health authority of a determination that the presence in the community of a family member may jeopardize the health of others; and (2) the recommendation, direction, or order of the provider or authority that the family member be isolated or quarantined because of suspected exposure to the communicable disease.”

It also eliminates the current one-week waiting period for disability benefits in the indicated epidemic-related cases. The state also offers a paid sick leave expansion due to COVID-19.

New Mexico
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New Mexico

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

New Mexico Democratic State Rep. Christine Chandler of Los Alamos has sponsored several bills to create paid family and medical leave for all employees. The first, HB264 was postponed indefinitely in 2019 while HB16, 2020’s bill, never actually made it to committee. The current HB38 would create a state-administered fund to begin providing up to 12 weeks of paid family medical leave starting in 2024, and the bill passed to the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee in February 2021.

New York
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New York

– Parental and medical leave: paid
— Benefit amount: up to 67% of New York’s average weekly wage ($971.61 per week)
— Duration of leave: up to 12 weeks in 12-month period (paid family leave)
— Requirements to be eligible: at least 26 consecutive weeks of work (20+ hours a week) or 175 consecutive days of work (less than 20 hours a week)
— Job protection: yes
– Paid sick days: yes
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes for family care leave and parental leave (private sector); yes for parental leave and pregnancy disability leave (public sector)

New York state passed a statute authorizing Quarantine Leave on March 18, 2020. On Jan. 20, 2021, the New York Department of Labor issued new guidance, which clarifies available Quarantine Leave and creates new employer obligations. For example, the clarification states that employees of private or public employers are entitled to up to two additional leaves if they receive positive diagnostic tests for COVID-19 after having already completed one mandatory order of quarantine or isolation period and present required documentation.

North Carolina
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North Carolina

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); yes (public sector)

In 2019, under Gov. Roy Cooper, North Carolina extended paid parental leave to state employees in cabinet agencies with an executive order. Certain counties also offer paid parental leave with Buncombe County becoming the seventh one in the state to offer it in late 2020, providing employees eight weeks of paid leave. Person County provides 30 days, while Durham, Mecklenburg, Wake, New Hanover, and Orange counties offer six weeks or more. In North Carolina, there are also 12 city governments that provide some form of paid parental leave.

North Dakota
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North Dakota

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

While North Dakota currently has no paid parental or family leave, North Dakota advocacy groups like North Dakota AFL-CIO and North Dakota Women’s Network continue to fight for it. On Feb. 3, 2021, lawmakers held their first hearing for HB1441, which would establish a statewide, opt-in paid family leave program. On Feb. 10, 2021, the amendment was adopted and placed on the calendar.

Ohio
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Ohio

– Parental and medical leave: unpaid
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: determined by employer
— Requirements to be eligible: pregnant employees or those who recently gave birth
— Job protection: yes
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

Ohio legislators continue to fight for paid parental leave under HB91, which would establish family and medical leave insurance benefits. In the meantime, several Ohio companies have stepped up and offer paid parental leave, including paternity leave.

Oklahoma
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Oklahoma

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

Oklahoma HB2865 was introduced on Feb. 3, 2020, and concerned paid parental, sick and medical leave for certain employees. The bill died in committee. Several Oklahoma companies fill the gap by providing their own paid parental leave like Nextep, which rolled out a new parental leave policy that allows the primary caregiver to take 12 weeks of full paid time off.

Oregon
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Oregon

– Parental and medical leave: paid
— Benefit amount: up to 120% of the Oregon’s average weekly wage
— Duration of leave: up to 12 weeks in 12-month period (paid family leave)
— Requirements to be eligible: at least 180 days of working (25+ hours a week) for an employer that has 25+ employees
— Job protection: yes
– Paid sick days: yes
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes (private sector); yes (public sector)

On Aug. 9, 2019, Oregon’s governor signed HB2005 into law, though the paid family and medical leave insurance program is still being developed. Benefits are expected to be available in January 2023. They will allow employees who worked at least 90 days for an employer to apply with the state for 12 weeks of paid insurance benefits per year for qualifying family, medical, or safe leave, and up to 14 weeks for certain pregnancy-related leave.

Pennsylvania
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Pennsylvania

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

While parental leave in Pennsylvania is certainly subpar, the city of Pittsburgh offers leave related to COVID-19. A new ordinance was signed by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto on Dec. 9, 2020, which granted COVID-19 sick time to certain employees working within the city. This ordinance supplements the Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act (PSDA), which took effect in March 2020.

Rhode Island
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Rhode Island

– Parental and medical leave: paid
— Benefit amount: up to 85% of Rhode Island’s average weekly wage ($887 per week)
— Duration of leave: up to four weeks in 52-week period (paid family leave), 13 consecutive weeks in two-year period for new parents (unpaid leave)
— Requirements to be eligible: at least $12,600 earned in past year for an employer with 50+ employees
— Job protection: yes
– Paid sick days: yes
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes for family care leave and parental leave (private sector); yes for family care leave and parental leave (public sector)

While Rhode Island offers a robust parental leave plan, it is also one of a few states that offers paid family leave, which also falls under the State Disability Insurance umbrella. Temporary Care Insurance (TCI) provides up to four weeks of partial wage replacement and protects both job and seniority for employees who are home providing care.

South Carolina
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South Carolina

– Parental and medical leave: unpaid
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: up to 12 weeks for new parents (unpaid leave)
— Requirements to be eligible: employees with disabilities due to pregnancy working for an employer with 15+ employees who already provides disability leave
— Job protection: yes
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

South Carolina legislators are moving forward with an initiative that received support from Gov. Henry McMaster. The bill, S. 997, if passed, will grant state employees 12 weeks of paid family leave during the upcoming session and would give leave to mothers and fathers after the birth or adoption of a new child, as well as to state employees who take in foster children. The bill would have no effect on family leave policies at private businesses in South Carolina.

South Dakota
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South Dakota

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

In 2017, SB150 was introduced. It stated that available leave would be one week per year of the employee’s full-time employment with the employer, up to a maximum of 4 weeks with a benefit amount of 100% of the employee’s wages. The bill died in chamber. Strides were made with SB186, which addressed paid vacation leave, sick leave, and parental leave. It was signed by the governor on March 20, 2020.

Tennessee
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Tennessee

– Parental and medical leave: unpaid unless employer decides otherwise
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: up to four months (employer decides whether paid or unpaid leave)
— Requirements to be eligible: at least one year of working full-time for current employer
— Job protection: yes
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

While the state of Tennessee doesn’t offer paid parental leave, in early 2020, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee promised an executive order to offer up to 12 weeks of annual paid family leave for state workers. Several weeks later, Lee said that instead he would implement paid family leave via legislation rather than by executive order, but promised if it passed it would be retroactive to March 1, 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic. Lee recently said he will no longer pursue paid leave under his administration.

Texas
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Texas
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Texas

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); yes for parental leave (public sector)

While Texas does not currently offer paid parental leave, companies like RetailMeNot do. The Austin-based company offers 16 weeks of paid leave to primary caregivers and four weeks to non-primary caregivers.

Utah
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Utah

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

Democratic State Rep. Elizabeth Weight proposed an amendment to parental leave laws with the Family Leave Amendments bill in 2019 and 2020. The bill aims to “require executive branch agencies and departments and higher education employees certain paid parental leave.” While the most recent version of the bill failed in the 2020 legislature, lawmakers did pass SB207, which allows paid postpartum recovery leave for women employed by state agencies who have given birth.

Vermont
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Vermont

– Parental and medical leave: unpaid
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: up to 12 weeks in 12-month period (unpaid leave)
— Requirements to be eligible: at least one year of working (30+ hours a week) for an employer that has 10+ employees
— Job protection: yes
– Paid sick days: yes
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

Vermont is one of a handful of states that have additional laws around parental and family leave. In July 1992, Vermont’s Maternity Leave Law was replaced by the Vermont Parental and Family Leave Law and provides leave to both fathers and mothers, adoptive and biological parents, and it also includes individuals joined in a civil union. In January 2020, the Vermont Family and Medical Leave Insurance Coalition, also known as FaMLI, proposed that changes be made to H.107 that would provide 12 weeks of fully paid leave for Vermonters to care for a newborn, and up to eight weeks to recover from a long-term illness or to help a family member recover from a serious illness or injury, but a month later, the governor vetoed the bill.

Virginia
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Virginia

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

Commonwealth employees were granted paid parental leave under an executive order in 2018. HR2120 was introduced in 2019 and it would have created a paid leave program, effective Jan, 1, 2022, for workers who are new parents, family of active-duty military personnel, have serious medical conditions, or care for family members with serious medical conditions. Unfortunately, the bill died.

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Washington

– Parental and medical leave: paid
— Benefit amount: up to 90% of Washington’s average weekly wage ($1,206 per week)
— Duration of leave: up to 12 weeks in 52-week period (paid leave), additional two weeks can be added if health issues arise from pregnancy or childbirth
— Requirements to be eligible: at least one year of working (1,250+ hours) for same employer (unpaid leave), working 820+ hours with a private sector employer that has 50+ employees (paid leave)
— Job protection: yes, but only for employees who meet certain conditions
– Paid sick days: yes
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes for pregnancy disability leave (private sector); yes for pregnancy disability leave (public sector)

Not only does Washington offer an extensive parental leave program, but several major corporations in the state offer generous parental leave. Amazon offers 20 weeks of paid leave for birth mothers and also has a six-week paid paternity leave policy. Microsoft also offers 20 weeks of paid leave to mothers and 12 weeks to non-birth parents.

West Virginia
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West Virginia

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); yes for family care leave and parental leave (public sector)

In early 2020, legislators introduced several bills related to paid family and medical leave (PFML). HB 4189, which would have provided state employees and public school teachers with up to 12 weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, died in committee. The two additional bills—SB65/HB4385—would have provided up to 12 weeks of comprehensive paid leave for private- and public-sector workers and self-employed individuals, but they also both died in committee.

Wisconsin
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Wisconsin

– Parental and medical leave: paid for pregnancy disability only
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: up to six weeks in 12-month period (unpaid leave), additional pregnancy disability benefits if applicable
— Requirements to be eligible: working for an employer with 50+ employees
— Job protection: yes
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: yes (private sector); yes for parental leave (public sector)

The Wisconsin Family Medical Leave Insurance Act (FMLIA) was last introduced in 2019 for the third time. The legislation would create an employee-funded state insurance fund to provide wage replacement for employees who take leave from work. The proposal has yet to receive support from Republican lawmakers.

Wyoming
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Wyoming

– Parental and medical leave: no parental leave benefits beyond Family and Medical Leave Act
— Benefit amount: none
— Duration of leave: none
— Requirements to be eligible: none
— Job protection: no
– Paid sick days: none
– Expands eligibility for job-protected leave: no (private sector); no (public sector)

Wyoming has no paid leave for families and many residents wait to find out if one of the federal family leave laws currently in Congress will come to pass. In the meantime, they rely on employers to offer paid parental leave, though currently many in the state do not.

This blog post is for general information purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.

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