State Family and Medical Leave Laws

9/9/2022

Overview

Family Leave: The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period to care for a newborn, adopted or foster child, or to care for a family member, or to attend to the employee’s own serious medical health condition. The law applies to private employers with 50 or more employees. The FMLA also allows states to set standards that are more expansive than the federal law and many states have chosen to do so. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have enacted or expanded family leave permanently. The table below includes the statutory provisions of states with their own family leave laws.

Paid Family Leave: 11 states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington—and the District of Columbia currently offer paid family and medical leave. All state programs are funded through employee-paid payroll taxes, and some are also partially funded by employer-paid payroll taxes.

Paid Sick Leave: 16 states and the District of Columbia currently require paid sick leave. In 2011, Connecticut became the first state to require private sector employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees. California became the second state to enact paid sick requirements, with the passage of the Healthy Workplace, Healthy Families Act of 2014. Massachusetts voters approved the Earned Sick Time for Employees ballot measure during the 2014 election, and the Oregon and Vermont legislatures enacted paid sick leave laws in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Other states with paid sick leave laws include Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington.

Paid Parental Leave for State Employees: 3 states—Georgia, New Hampshire, and South Carolina—offer paid parental leave for state employees. Georgia and South Carolina allow paid leave for the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child. New Hampshire covers these circumstances as well as certain family medical concerns and qualifying military exigency leave.

School Leave: A few states and the District of Columbia provide for a limited number of hours annually for parents to attend school-related events and activities for their children: California/40 hours, Colorado/18 hours, D.C./24 hours, Illinois/eight hours, Louisiana/16 hours, Massachusetts/24 hours, Minnesota/16 hours, Nevada/four hours, North Carolina/four hours, Rhode Island/10 hours, Vermont/12 hours. 

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Paid Family and Medical Leave

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State Family Medical Leave Laws

State Family Medical Leave Leave Laws
State Coverage/Eligibility Family Medical Leave Provisions
(paid unless noted)
Provides Leave
to Care for
California
(unpaid)
Private employers with 50 or more employees and all public sector employers. Up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave plus four months of maternity disability may be combined for a total of 28 weeks per year. Child, spouse, parent, domestic partner, child of domestic partner, stepparent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or parent-in-law.
California
(paid)
Employees who have worked for an employer for at least 12 months, and who have 1250 hours of service during the 12 months prior to the leave. The California Paid Family Leave insurance program provides up to eight weeks of paid leave to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, or registered domestic partner, or to bond with a new child. The benefit amount is approximately 55% of an employee’s weekly wage, from a minimum of $50 to a maximum of $1067. The program is funded through employee-paid payroll taxes and is administered through the state’s disability program. Child, spouse, parent or registered domestic partner.
Colorado Employers who have employed at least one employee for at least 20 weeks in a year or in the year immediately preceding the year of coverage, or who have paid wages of at least $1,500 in any three-month quarter in the preceding year. Employees that have earned at least $2,500 in covered wages in the base period of the alternative base period. Up to 12 weeks of paid leave for a personal serious health condition, a family member's serious health condition, the birth of their child, the placement of a child with them for adoption or foster care, to attend to matters arising from a family member being on active military duty, or for reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or harassment. Child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or any individual with whom the employee has a significant personal bond that is like a family relationship.
Connecticut Public and private employers with at least one employee. Employees that have earned at least $2,325 in covered wages in the highest-earning quarter of the first four of the most recent five three-month quarters, or if they worked for their employer for at least 12 weeks immediately before the leave is requested. Up to 12 weeks in two years for the birth or adoption of a child, placement of child for foster care, to care for a family member with a serious medical condition, for the serious medical condition of the employee, to serve as an organ or bone marrow donor, or matters relating to a family member that is an active duty member of the U.S. armed forces. Child, spouse, parent, civil union partner, parent-in-law or stepparent.
D.C. Any public or private employer. Employees who spend more than 50% of their time working in D.C. Up to eight weeks to bond with a new child, six weeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition, six weeks to care for a personal serious health condition, and two weeks to receive prenatal care. All relatives by blood, legal custody, or marriage, and anyone with whom an employee lives and has a committed relationship.
Delaware Employers with at least 25 employees with an exemption for employers closed for at least 30 consecutive days during the year. Any employee who has worked for their current employer for one year and at least 1,250 hours in the previous twelve months. Up to twelve weeks to care for a child after birth, adoption, or placement through foster care, or to care for oneself or a family member with a serious health condition.  
Hawaii (unpaid) Private employers with 100 or more employees. Excludes public employees. Employees who have worked for six consecutive months. Up to four weeks per year. Permits intermittent leave for birth or adoption of a child, and to care for a family member with a serious health condition. Child, spouse, reciprocal beneficieary, parent.
Maine (unpaid) Private employers with 15 or more employees; all state employers, and local governments with 25 or more employees. Up to 10 weeks in two years for the birth of a child or adoption of a child. Includes leave to be an organ donor.  Does not require spouses to share leave.  Child, spouse, parent, sibling who lives with employee, civil union partner, child of civil union partner, or non-dependent adult child.
Massachusetts Employers with 25 or more employees.  Up to 20 weeks to manage a personal serious health condition, up to 12 weeks to care for a family member or bond with a child, and up to 26 weeks to care for a family member who is a member of the armed forces. Child, step-children, spouse, domestic partner, domestic partner's children, spouse or domestic partner's parents, grandchildren, domestic partner's grandchildren, grandparents, grandparent's domestic partner, siblings or step-siblings.
Minnesota (unpaid) All employers with 21 or more employees. An employee who has worked for an employer for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the request, and whose average number of hours per week equal one-half of a full-time equivalent position. All employers with at least one employee for school activities leave only. Up to 12 weeks for the birth or adoption of a child. Permits employees to use personal sick leave benefits to care for an ill or injured child on the same terms as for the employee's own use. Up to 10 working days when a person's parent, child, grandparents, siblings, or spouse who is a member of the United States armed forces, has been injured or killed while in active service.  Child, spouse, parent, grandparent or sibling.
New Hampshire The Granite State Family Leave Plan provides paid leave coverage to state employees. Family-leave insurance coverage is also available for purchase by employers with more than 50 employees. Individuals may also purchase family-leave insurance coverage. Paid leave for a personal serious health condition, to care for a family member's serious health condition, to care for an infant in the first year after the child's birth, to be with a child after placement for adoption or foster care, to attend to matters arising from a family member being on active military duty.  
New Jersey
 
Employers that are subject to New Jersey's unemployment insurance law. Agricultural employers are exempt from coverage unless they have at least 10 employees or pay wages of at least $20,000 in a quarter. Unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks in 12 months or 56 intermittent days to care for a child anytime during the first year after that child’s birth or adoption, or to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent or domestic partner. Does not provide leave for the employee's own serious health condition. Child, spouse, parent, in-laws or domestic partner.
New York All private employers. Employees, full-time or part-time, who have worked 26 or more consecutive weeks for a covered employer. Public employers have the choice to opt in. Up to 12 weeks per year for birth of a child, placement of a child in adoption or foster care, caring for a family member with a serious health condition, or to assist loved ones when a covered parties are deployed abroad on active military service. Child, spouse, parent, parent-in-law, step-parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, domestic partner, or a person with whom the employee has or had an in loco parentis relationship.
Oregon Public and private employers with at least one employee. Employees who have earned at least $1,000 in the first four of the last five quarters preceding the benefit year. Up to 12 weeks per year for a personal serious health condition, a family member's serious health condition, the birth of a child, the placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or for reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or harassment. Child, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild or parent-in-law, or a person with whom the employee has or had an in loco parentis relationship.
Rhode Island All employers that are subject to Rhode Island's unemployment insurance law. The Rhode Island Temporary Caregiver Insurance Program provides up to five weeks of paid leave for the birth, adoption or fostering of a new child or to care for a family member with a serious health condition; and up to 30 weeks of paid leave for a worker’s own disability.  Child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, spouse, domestic partner
Vermont (unpaid) All employers with 10 or more employees for leaves associated with a new child or adoption. All employers with 15 or more employees for leaves related to a family member's or employee's own serious medical condition. Employees who have worked for an employer for one year for an average of 30 or more hours per week. Up to 12 weeks in 12 months for parental or family leave. Allows the employee to substitute available sick, vacation, or other paid leave, not to exceed 6 weeks. Does not require spouses to share leave. Provides an additional 24 hours in 12 months to attend to the routine or emergency medical needs of a child, spouse, parent, or parent-in-law or to participate in children's educational activities. Limits this leave to no more than four hours in any 30-day period. Child, spouse, parent, parent-in-law.
Washington All employers. An employee who has been employed for at least 820 hours during his or her qualifying period. Up to a total of 12 weeks of leave during any 12-month period for the birth of a child, the placement of a child for adoption or foster care, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the job. Child, step-child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, sibling, grandchildren, grandparents, spouse's grandparents, son- or daughter-in-law, any individual who expects to rely on the employee for care.
Wisconsin Employers who employ at least 50 individuals on a permanent basis, including any state government entity. An employee who has been employed by the same employer for more than 52 consecutive weeks and who has at least 1,000 hours of service during that time. Up to six weeks of leave for the birth or adoption of a child; up to two weeks of leave care of a child, spouse, parent, domestic partner or parent of a domestic partner with a serious health condition; and up to two weeks of leave for the employee's own serious health condition. Does not require spouses to share leave. Allows an employee to substitute employer-provided paid or unpaid leave for portions of family or medical leave. Child, spouse, parent, domestic partner or parent of a domestic partner.

School-Related Parental Leave
State School-Related Parental Leave
California Up to 40 hours per year, but no more than eight hours per month, to participate in children's educational activities.
Colorado The Colorado Small Necessities Leave allows employees who are the parents or legal guardians of children in grades K-12 to take up to six hours of unpaid leave in any month, up to a total of 18 hours in any school year, to attend school-related activities or parent-teacher conferences.
D.C. Up to 24 hours per year to participate in children's educational activities.
Illinois Up to eight hours per school year, but no more than four hours on any day to attend a child's school activities, and only when no other type of employee leave is available.
Louisiana Up to 16 hours per year at the employer's discretion to participate in children's educational activities. Allows an employee to use any types of accrued leave to participate in his or her children's educational activities. 
Massachusetts Up to 24 hours per year leave to participate in children's educational activities or accompany a child, spouse, or elderly relative to routine medical appointments, under the Small Necessities Leave Act.
Minnesota Up to 16 hours per year to participate in children's educational activities.
Nevada Up to four hours per year to participate in children's educational activities. Makes it unlawful to terminate an employee for attending school conferences or for receiving notification of a child's emergency at work.  
North Carolina Up to four hours per year to participate in children's educational activities.
Rhode Island Up to 10 hours per year to participate in children's educational activities.
Vermont Provides an additional 24 hours in 12 months to attend to the routine or emergency medical needs of a child, spouse, parent, or parent-in-law or to participate in children's educational activities.  Limits this leave to no more than four hours in any 30-day period.

Sources: Westlaw 50-state statute searches, Westlaw 50-state surveys, StateNet bill tracking, state legislative websites, Bloomberg Law statute searches.  Compiled September 2008, updated September 2009, updated November 2011, updated December 2012, December 2013, December 2014, updated April 2022, updated July 2022.