Paid Family Leave provides paid leave to care for sick or disabled family members or time to bond with a new child. The United States is the only developed nation that does not offer a form of national paid family leave. Currently, only five states have Paid Family Leave Programs. These states are California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, and the District of Columbia. Each offers varying benefits.
On the horizon, a few states have developed programs that will begin soon. Others are still in the development and roll-out stages.
Washington will begin their Paid Family Leave Program at the start of 2020, and Massachusetts, as of January, has released proposed regulations clarifying the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees under the new Massachusetts Family & Medical Leave Law (MFMLL). Their law goes into effect January 1, 2021. Michigan will begin their Paid Medical Leave Act this March. Lawmakers in New Hampshire, Nebraska and Vermont are also working on their own family leave laws.
Will there ever be a national paid family leave law?
There’s nothing being planned at the federal level right now, but the beginning stages of a movement may be hatching. Besides the growing list of states offering pro-family leave, some large national brands are experimenting with their own extended paid family leaves. Currently, the nation’s 20 largest employers offer paid paternal leave to at least some of their employees. Zero to Three, a nonprofit that advocates for Paid Family Leave among other issues, recently called on the Trump Administration and Congress to create a comprehensive national paid family leave and medical leave insurance program.