Here Are the Maternity Leave Benefits for Every State

The United States is woefully behind the rest of the world on paid parental leave. While federal paid leave shakes out, here's a guide to which states offer paid and unpaid family and medical leave.

An image of a mother holding her baby.
Photo: Getty Images.

The United States may excel at many things: robotics, blockbuster films, billionaires going to space, and Olympic gold medals, to name a few. When it comes to paid family and sick leave, however, we are achingly behind the mark. The U.S. stands alone as a country that, unlike dozens of other countries, does not mandate any paid leave for new parents. We were also one of just 11 countries to boast no paid sick leave policy at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is despite the sobering fact that the League of Nations declared 12 weeks maternity leave a global right...in 1919.

Suffice to say, we're due for an upgrade. The good news? The conversation has picked up momentum in 2021. Many were hopeful that President Biden's proposed American Families Plan could at last bring Americans a national paid family leave policy as early as 2023. The bad, but not altogether surprising news: That proposal was cut from the international standard of 12 weeks to 4 in Congress, and family leave has now been cut from it entirely due to objections from West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin.

Parents—especially those who parented newborns and young children through a pandemic—probably don't need to be convinced of the individual benefit of extended paid family leave. But research shows that paid family leave has immense societal benefits, too: It increases maternal health, decreases the rate of infant mortality, keeps more women in the workforce, and could even help improve the "labor shortage."

While we in the U.S. of A don't have national paid leave, a full nine states now have mandated it on their own. That number has more than doubled from the mere four states with laws providing leave pre-pandemic. Of course, even without a legal requirement, many employers in all 50 states still offer paid family leave, in part because it greatly improves employee retention rates.

While federal paid leave shakes out, here's a guide* to which states offer paid and unpaid family and medical leave.

State Coverage/Eligibility Family Medical Leave Provisions
(unpaid unless noted)
Provides Leave
to Care for
Alabama None · ·
Alaska None · ·
Arkansas None · ·
Arizona None · ·
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.
Colorado None · ·
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.
Delaware None · ·
Florida None · ·
Georgia None · ·
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.
Idaho None · ·
Illinois None · ·
Indiana None · ·
Iowa None · ·
Kansas None · ·
Kentucky None · ·
Louisiana None · ·
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.
Maryland None · ·
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. ·
Michigan None · ·
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.
Mississippi None · ·
Missouri None · ·
Montana None · ·
Nebraska None · ·
Nevada None · ·
New Hampshire None · ·
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 Mexico None · ·
New York (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.
North Carolina None · ·
North Dakota None · ·
Ohio None · ·
Oklahoma None · ·
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.
Pennsylvania · · ·
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.
South Carolina · · ·
South Dakota · · ·
Tennessee · · ·
Texas · · ·
Utah · · ·
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.
Virginia None · ·
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.
West Virginia None · ·
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.
Wyoming None · ·

*Data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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