Although the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires some employers to provide unpaid leave to workers for family or medical reasons, several states now mandate employers to provide paid leave. California was the first state in the country to pass a paid family leave law. New Jersey has had partial paid leave since 2009 and Rhode Island since 2014. New York’s paid leave laws went into effect this year and the District of Columbia and Washington state’s programs are scheduled to start in 2020.
Twenty-one other states have proposed similar legislation. Even without state mandates, some employers provide paid time off for parenting and care giving, but most do not. Generally, employees receive partial pay from an insurance policy they pay into. Sometimes, the employer pays, too. Why Interest is Growing Paid leave is becoming a popular benefit as employers look for ways to retain and attract talented employees and build a supportive company culture.
And with more families needing two incomes and single-parent families on the rise, many families can’t afford to make do for very long without a paycheck. What FMLA Provides FMLA is a federal law that applies to employers with 50 or more employees. FMLA provides eligible employees up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period.