How Does Your State Measure Up on Maternity Leave?

Take advantage of any family-friendly state benefits!

All 50 states and Puerto Rico fall under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In June 2000, the Department of Labor ruled that states may dip into unemployment coffers to help fund family leave, clearing the way for more states to provide paid leave. Proposals are pending in several state legislatures. Call or write your state representative and ask him or her to strengthen leave laws.

The following 18 states -- plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico -- have laws that are in some ways more generous than the FMLA. What follows is a state-by-state guide to those benefits.

Western/Mountain States

California

Coverage: Women in workplaces with at least five employees; there are no requirements for number of months or hours worked.

Leave: The period of time during which you're disabled due to pregnancy and childbirth, up to a maximum of four months.

Pay: Women may collect state temporary disability payments of about two-thirds of their wages -- up to $490 a week -- for the time during which they're physically disabled due to pregnancy and childbirth (usually six to eight weeks). If a company continues health insurance for employees on other kinds of leave, it must do so for women disabled due to pregnancy and childbirth.

Hawaii

Coverage: All working women are eligible.

Leave: The period of time during which you're physically disabled due to pregnancy and childbirth (usually six to eight weeks).

Pay: Women may collect 58 percent of their average weekly wages from the state while they're physically disabled due to pregnancy and childbirth, up to a maximum of 26 weeks.

Montana

Coverage: All working women and adopting parents are eligible.

Leave: Up to six weeks of leave for disability due to pregnancy and childbirth; adopting parents may take 15 days for family leave.

Oregon

Coverage: Workplaces with at least 25 employees; you need to have worked at least 90 consecutive days. Temporary workers hired for less than six months are not covered.

Leave: 12 weeks for birth or adoption of a child up to age 6.

Washington

Coverage: Women at workplaces with at least eight employees.

Leave: The period of time during which you're physically disabled due to pregnancy and childbirth (usually six to eight weeks). If a company continues health insurance for employees on other leaves, it must do so for women disabled due to pregnancy and childbirth.

Midwest

Iowa

Coverage: Women at workplaces with at least four employees.

Leave: Up to eight weeks for disability due to pregnancy and childbirth.

Kansas

Coverage: Women at workplaces with at least four employees.

Leave: The period of time during which you're physically disabled due to pregnancy and childbirth (usually six to eight weeks).

Minnesota

Coverage: Workplaces with at least 21 employees; you need to have worked for 12 consecutive months at least half time.

Leave: Up to six weeks of leave for the birth or adoption of a child. Health insurance must be continued during leave; however, your employer may require that you pay for it.

East

Connecticut

Coverage: Women at workplaces with at least three employees.

Leave: The period of time during which you're physically disabled due to pregnancy and childbirth (usually six to eight weeks).

New Jersey

Coverage and leave: Those eligible for the FMLA -- which New Jersey grants to workers who have worked 1,000 hours in the past year -- are secure in their job for 12 weeks.

Pay: All women may collect state payments for four weeks before the birth (if you go on leave at that point) and six weeks afterward for a vaginal delivery; eight weeks for a cesarean section. Payments are approximately two-thirds of your weekly wages, up to $401 per week. It's possible to collect payments but still lose your job if you don't qualify for the FMLA.

New York

Coverage and leave: Those eligible for the FMLA are secure in their job for 12 weeks.

Pay: All women who work in the private sector (as opposed to working for the government) can collect 50 percent of their average weekly wages -- up to $170 a week -- while they're physically disabled due to pregnancy and childbirth (usually six to eight weeks, up to a maximum of 26 weeks). It's possible to collect payments but still lose your job if you don't qualify for the FMLA.

New England

Maine

Coverage: Workplaces with at least 25 employees at a permanent work site; you need to have worked for 12 consecutive months.

Leave: Up to 10 weeks of leave over a two-year period for birth or adoption. Health insurance must be continued during leave; however, your employer may require that you pay for it.

Massachusetts

Coverage: Workplaces with at least six employees; you need to have completed your employer's initial probationary period or, if there's no probationary period, three consecutive months as a full-time employee.

Leave: Eight weeks of leave for birth or adoption of a child under age 18, or adoption of a child under age 23 if the child has a disability. Employers are not required to continue health insurance.

New Hampshire

Coverage: Women at workplaces with at least six employees are eligible. Nonprofit, religious, educational, fraternal, and charitable corporations are exempt (some private schools and hospitals, for instance, are excluded).

Leave: The period of time during which you're physically disabled due to pregnancy and childbirth (usually six to eight weeks). If a company continues health insurance for employees on other kinds of leave, it must do so for women disabled due to pregnancy and childbirth.

Rhode Island

Coverage and leave: Those eligible for the FMLA are secure in their job for 12 weeks.

Pay: All women may qualify to receive about 60 percent of their average weekly wages from the state -- up to $504 a week -- for the duration of disability (usually six to eight weeks, up to a maximum of 30 weeks). Women with other children may qualify for an additional benefit of up to $10 for each dependent, up to a maximum of five dependents. It's possible to collect payments but still lose your job if you don't qualify for the FMLA.

Vermont

Coverage: Workplaces with at least 10 employees; you need to have worked at least 30 hours a week for at least one year.

Leave: 12 weeks for birth or adoption of a child age 16 or younger. Health insurance must be continued during leave; however, your employer may require that you pay for it.

South

Kentucky

Coverage: All employees adopting a child under age 7 are eligible.

Leave: Six weeks of family leave.

Louisiana

Coverage: Women at workplaces with at least 26 employees.

Leave: The period of time during which you're physically disabled due to pregnancy and childbirth (usually six to eight weeks, up to a maximum of four months). Employers are not required to continue health coverage.

Other

District of Columbia

Coverage: Workplaces with at least 20 employees; you must have worked at least 1,000 hours in the past 12 months.

Leave: Up to 16 weeks of leave every two years to care for a newborn or newly adopted child.

Puerto Rico

Coverage: All working women are eligible.

Leave: The time during which you're physically disabled due to pregnancy and childbirth (usually eight weeks, though you may add an additional 12 weeks if there are complications).

Pay: Women may apply to collect half their pay for eight weeks.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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