Lovevery compiled data on each state’s parental leave program by combining the National Partnership for Women and Families’ 2018 analysis of states’ parental leave laws with updated 2020–2021 parental leave policies. These updated policies come from every state’s labor laws, as well as analyses from A Better Balance and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Data points include the parental and medical leave provided to parents who are pregnant or just gave birth, as well as whether the state offers paid sick days, job protection, and expanded eligibility for receiving unpaid leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act. The Family Medical and Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for workers to care for a family member with serious health conditions or for children who were just born or adopted. To qualify for the FMLA, an employee has to work for at least 12 months and at least 1,250 hours for an employer with more than 50 employees within a 75-mile radius. Some states have adopted additional policies to expand leave eligibility to people working in smaller businesses or who worked for a shorter amount of time.
Lovevery also included the benefit amount, duration of leave, and eligibility requirements for the state parental leave. Please note that the policies mentioned in this story mainly apply to private sector employees, and every employer has its own parental leave policy, so these laws are subject to change. Additionally, given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, both federal and state parental leave laws could be temporarily affected.