State Family and Medical Leave Laws

7/19/2016

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. The table below includes the statutory provisions of states with their own family leave laws, including California, Connecticut, D.C., Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin, most of which have expanded either the amount of leave available or the classes of persons for whom leave may be taken.

Paid Family Leave: Only four states—California, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Islandcurrently offer paid family and medical leave. All four state programs are funded through employee-paid payroll taxes and administered through their respective disability programs. The state of Washington passed a paid family leave law in 2007, originally to take effect in October 2009, but the law was never implemented and subsequent legislation has indefinitely postponed its implementation. (See our paid family leave page for more details.)

Paid Sick Leave: Five states 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 (see our sick leave page for more details.)

School/Parental Leave: A small number of states provide for a limited number of hours annually for parents to attend school-related events and activities for their children: California/40 hours, DC/24 hours, Illinois/eight hours, Louisiana/16 hours, Massachusetts/24 hours, Minnesota/16 hours, North Carolina/four hours, Rhode Island/10 hours, Vermont/12 hours. Nevada makes it unlawful to terminate an employee for using leave to attend a child’s school-related activities.

State Family Medical Leave Leave Laws

State Family Medical Leave Leave Laws
State Coverage/Eligibility Family Medical Leave Provisions
(unpaid 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 4 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 6 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.
Connecticut All employers with 75 or more employees, except private or parochial elementary or secondary schools. Employees who have 1,000 hours service with an employer during the 12-month period before the leave. Up to 16 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, or to serve as an organ or bone marrow donor. Child, spouse, parent, civil union partner, parent-in-law or stepparent.
D.C. Any public or private employer. Employees who have at least 1,000 hours of service with an employer during the 12-month period prior to leave. Up to 16 weeks of family leave, plus 16 weeks of medical leave for employee's own serious health condition during a two-year period. Leave must be shared by family members working for the same employer. All relatives by blood, legal custody, or marriage, and anyone with whom an employee lives and has a committed relationship.
Hawaii 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, adoption placement, and to care for a family member with a serious health condition. Does not apply to employee's own health condition or placement of a foster child.  Does not require spouses to share leave.  Child, spouse, parent, in-laws, grandparents, grandparents-in-law, stepparent or reciprocal beneficiary.
Maine 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 age 16 or younger. 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 50 or more employees.  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 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 six weeks for the birth or adoption of a child. Does not require spouses to share leave. 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. Up to 40 hours to undergo a medical procedure to donate bone marrow or to donate an organ or partial organ. Child, spouse, parent, grandparent or sibling.
New Jersey
(unpaid)
All employers with 50 or more employees. Employees who have worked for an employer for 12 months and who have at least 1,000 hours of service during those 12 months. Unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks in 24 months, not to exceed more than six weeks in 12 months, 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.  Intermittent leave is limited to 42 days in 12 months. Does not require spouses to share leave.< Child, spouse, parent, in-laws or domestic partner.
New Jersey
(paid)
Employees who have worked 20 calendar weeks or who have earned at least 1,000 times the state minimum wage during the 52 weeks prior to leave. Paid leave provides up to two-thirds of wages up to $524/week for 6 weeks. Provides that any Paid Family Leave runs concurrently with FMLA or NJFLA and that other types of available leave must be used before taking paid family leave. Provides that leave may be paid, unpaid or a combination of both.  Child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, spouse or domestic partner
New York (eff. Jan 1, 2018)
(paid)
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. The maximum leave allowed over every 52 week period is increased over a period of four years. Starting Jan.1, 2018, the maximum leave period is eight weeks. From Jan. 1, 2019 to Jan. 1, 2020 the maximum leave period is 10 weeks, and becomes 12 weeks starting Jan. 1, 2021. The maximum benefit amount is 50% of an employee's average weekly wage or 50% of the state average weekly wage starting in 2018. It increases annually to 55% in 2019, 60% in 2020, and 67% in 2022.  Child, spouse, parent, parent-in-law, step-parent, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or a person with whom the employee has or had an in loco parentis relationship.
Oregon All employers with 25 or more employees. Employees who have worked at least 25 hours per week in the past 180 days.  Up to 12 weeks per year. An additional 12 weeks per year is available to care for the employee's ill or injured child who does not have a serious health condition but who requires home care.  Prohibits two family members working for the same employer from taking concurrent family leave except under certain conditions. Allows an employee to substitute any available paid vacation or sick leave.  Allows leave to be used to deal with the death of a family member. 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
(unpaid)
Private employers with 50 or more employees. All state government employers. Local governments with 30 or more employees. Full-time employees who have been employed for 12 consecutive months and who work an average of 30 or more hours per week. Up to 13 weeks in two years for the birth or adoption of a child age 16 or younger, or to care for a parent, child, spouse or in-law with a serious medical condition. Child, spouse, parent, employee's spouse's parent.
Rhode Island
(paid)
All private sector employers and public sector employers who opt into the program. The Rhode Island Temporary Caregiver Insurance Program provides four 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. The program is funded by employee payroll taxes and administered through the state’s temporary disability program. It provides a minimum benefit of $72 and maximum of $752 per week, based on earnings. Child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, spouse, domestic partner
Vermont 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 680 hours during his or her qualifying year. Washington Family Leave Act provides up to a total of twelve 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.
Washington Family Care Act allows workers with available paid sick leave or other paid time off to use that leave to care for a sick child with a routine illness; a spouse, registered domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, or grandparent with a serious or emergency health condition; and an adult child with a disability.
Note: The Washington Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act, passed in 2007, and which established a paid family leave insurance program was never implemented and has been indefinitely postponed by subsequent legislation.
Child, spouse, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent or state registered domestic partner.
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 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.  Compiled September 2008, updated September 2009, updated November 2011, updated December 2012, December 2013, December 2014.