The Family and Medical Leave Act mandates 12 weeks of maternity leave, but only to full-time workers at companies with over 50 employees and it is unpaid.
In fact, one in four new moms in America returned to work within two weeks of giving birth. Nearly 12% return less than a week after giving birth.
Most simply can’t afford to take time off without a paycheck. For the rest, taking time off to care for a sick family member or bond with a new child can result in workplace penalties, or even the loss of a job.
States with Paid Family Leave #
Currently, there are fourteen (14) states in the country, including the District of Columbia that offer, or will offer, paid family leave to new parents to bond with a newborn baby or provide care for a seriously ill family member, or an employee’s own serious medical needs.
|District of Columbia||8||$1,049|
|New Hampshire *||6||$1,848|
As of June 2023, eight states — California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Washington State, and District — have active programs. Six in Colorado, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Oregon — await implementation.
Benefit payments for the Oregon program are to start in September 2023; benefits payments for the Colorado program are to start in January 2024; and benefits for the Delaware, Maryland and Minnesota program are to start in January 2026.
Rhode Island enacted a paid family leave law in 2014, allowing for six (6) weeks of time off — the shortest paid leave of any state.
New York joined them effective Jan. 1, 2018. D.C.’s and Washington’s law will take effect in 2020, Massachusetts in 2021, while Connecticut is poised to become the 7th state in 2022, and Oregon in 2023.
New Hampshire offers a first-in-the-nation voluntary plan that may be purchased, voluntarily, by employers or certain employees, paying at least 60% of employees' regular wages for up to 6 weeks. NH PFML is available to NH workers through MetLife, the state’s PFML insurance partner.
Delaware and Maryland are the latest states to add paid family leave policies, becoming the 10th and 11th states to provide paid family and medical leave.
Starting January 1, 2024, Colorado's employees who earned at least $2,500 over the previous year for work in Colorado are eligible to receive up to 90% of their average weekly wages — capped at $1,100 per week.
Maine will become the 13th state to have a mandatory paid family and medical leave program for workers who need time off to care for family members or themselves. The program pays up to 90% of a worker’s regular wages for up to 12 weeks.
Although a number of cities have passed paid leave laws for state employees, San Fransisco is the first city in the nation that guarantees paid leave for new parents in private sectors.
California leads the nation as the first to provide paid leave benefits for employees who need to “take time off” to bond with a newborn baby or provide care for a seriously ill family member.
Under California’s Paid Family Leave, eligible employees may take up to eight (8) weeks of paid leave to be with their families. The weekly benefits range from $50 to a maximum of $1,620 but usually no more than 70% of their weekly earnings.
To apply for PFL benefits, you must complete and submit a Claim for Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits or use SDI Online instead of submitting the form by mail.
California also became the second state, along with six other states and Washington D.C., to enact paid sick requirements, with the passage of the Healthy Workplace, Healthy Families Act of 2014 or the Paid Sick Leave Law. Connecticut was the first.
SAN FRANCISCO #
San Francisco became the first U.S. city to guarantee new parents of all genders eight (8) weeks of fully paid leave for a birth or adoption. That includes same sex couples, and anyone who either bears or adopts a child.
The law improves upon California’s existing legislation by mandating that employers foot the bill for the remaining 45% of a worker’s pay not covered by the state’s Paid Family Leave program.
If you work in San Francisco and have a new child, you are entitled to claim a weekly payment from your employer in addition to the California Paid Family Leave — capped at a total of $2,700 per week.
Connecticut will join 6 other states, including the District of Columbia, to offer 12 paid weeks of paid leave to care for a new baby or sick family members, plus an additional two weeks of benefits if they aren’t able to work during pregnancy.
The benefits cover 95% of lower wage earner’s pay, capped at 60 times the minimum wage. To be eligible for leave, an employee needs to be employed for at least three (3) consecutive months.
How much is paid family leave in CT 2023? #
If your wages are less than or equal to the Connecticut minimum wage multiplied by 40, your weekly benefit rate will be 95% of your average weekly wage, about $600 on June 1, 2023.
Otherwise, your benefit rate is capped at 60 times the Connecticut minimum wage, about $900 in 2023.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA #
D.C. is set to create one of the most generous paid leave programs in the nation — guaranteeing certain periods of paid family and medical leave to eligible employees starting on July 1, 2020.
Funded by a new payroll tax on employers of 0.62%, D.C. employers will begin paying this new tax by July 1, 2019, and employees will be able to access the new benefit beginning July 1, 2020.
D.C. promises to cover employees with 8 weeks of paid parental leave, 6 weeks of paid family leave, and 2 additional weeks of paid personal medical leave. Those who are receiving unemployment insurance or long-term disability payments are not eligible.
How much do I get paid on family leave in DC? #
Eligible individuals who earn 150% of the D.C. minimum wage or less will receive 90% of their average weekly wage, up to a $1,049 weekly cap.
Massachusetts moves one step closer to establishing paid family and medical leave, passing the most generous paid family leave law in the country. It’s even better than Washington State’s.
Implementation will begin, in stages, starting in July 2019, offering up to 12 weeks of paid, job-protected family leave per benefit year, and up to 20 weeks for the employee’s own serious health condition.
The law covers most Massachusetts employees who have earned at least $6,000 in 2023 over the past 4 calendar quarters or at least 30 times the benefit amount that you are eligible for.
If you are self-employed, you may opt in through MassTaxConnect.
How much does paid family leave pay in Massachusett? #
The weekly benefit amount is calculated as a percentage of the employee’s average weekly earnings and is currently capped at $1,130 per week.
NEW JERSEY #
New Jersey is one of the first states that provides paid leave benefits for employees who need to “take time off” to bond with a newborn baby or provide care for a seriously ill family member.
New Jersey’s paid family leave program, one of just a few in the U.S., is funded by workers through a small payroll deduction.
To be eligible you must meet earnings requirements in the 18 months prior to the start of your claim — at least $13,000 in earnings during the base period in 2023.
How much family leave can I take in NJ? #
Under NJ’s Family Leave Insurance program, cash benefits equaling to 85% of their average weekly wages may be payable for up to 12 weeks in a 12-month period but no more than $1,025 per week.
NEW YORK STATE #
New York passed the nation’s most generous paid family leave law, to take effect in 2018. Under FMLA, the New York Law guarantees paid time off — up to 12 weeks’ job-protected leave.
The program will be funded by employee paycheck deductions amounting to between 50 cents and a dollar a week. The maximum employee contribution in 2023 is 0.455% of an employee’s weekly wage.
How much is NY Paid Family Leave for 2023? #
Employees taking Paid Family Leave receive 67% of their average weekly wage, up to a cap of 67% of the current New York State Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW).
For example, in 2023, an employee who makes $1,000 a week would receive a benefit of $670 a week (67% of $1,000) but no more than $1,131 a week.
Oregon will become the 8th state in the nation to offer paid family and medical leave AND the first in nation to offer 100% wage replacement who earned at least $1,000 in the year prior to claiming their benefit.
Modeled after Oregon’s unemployment insurance program, Oregon’s paid family leave law guarantees every Oregon workers 12 weeks of paid leave for family purposes and up to 2 additional weeks if you are pregnant or have given birth.
How much does Oregon paid leave pay? #
Weekly paid leave compensation is based on the relation of the employee’s pay to the average weekly wage — capped at a maximum benefit of 120% of the average weekly wage. That's approximately $1,525.
RHODE ISLAND #
Rhode Island became the third state to mandate paid leave — joining California and New Jersey. The law allows all RI employees to take up to 6 weeks of paid leave to bond with a newborn baby or care for a seriously ill family member.
Rhode Island’s program improved upon the programs in California and New Jersey by guaranteeing job protection to those who take paid leave.
How much does TCI pay in RI? #
Under RI’s Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI), eligible employees may receive a 60% wage replacement, up to $1,043 per week — not including dependency allowance for each child under age 18. This weekly “dependency allowance” is paid as the greater of $10 or 7% of the standard benefit rate.
You may apply online at TDI/TCI Online or download a paper application to complete and return to
Temporary Disability Insurance
P.O. Box 20100,
In addition, you need to provide your employer with written notice of your intent to take a leave of absence at least 30 days before the leave begins.
WASHINGTON STATE #
Washington is now among a handful of states that guarantee paid family leave. It is designed to provide partial wage replacement for pregnancy-related leaves as well as for bonding with a new child.
Washington’s is among the most generous of the bunch, covering at least 12 weeks of paid leave, plus another six for complicated pregnancies.
Nearly every Washington employee may qualify if they worked a minimum of 820 hours, about 16 hours a week, during their qualifying period.
How much is Washington paid family leave? #
Weekly benefits are calculated based on a percentage of the employee’s wages and the state’s weekly average wage — up to 90% of their income but no more than $1,427 a week.