A Look At Paid Leave Across The U.S.

Getting paid time off work is a luxury not all Americans enjoy, and few states have protections in place for workers who have or adopt children, need to care for sick relatives, or are sick themselves. In fact, the U.S. is the only industrialized country without guaranteed paid parental leave.

In his 2018 budget plan, President Trump proposed adopting paid parental leave nationwide, requiring states to give workers up to six weeks off when having or adopting a child. The new program would cost about $19 billion over a decade, and individual states would have a lot of room to decide how they institute it. However, Congress still has to approve the budget, and many Republicans aren't yet on board with a new social program, while experts warn that it's not enough for new parents.

Only five states and Washington D.C. have approved paid family leave policies. Similarly, only six states and Washington D.C. have passed laws guaranteeing paid sick leave for employees. Each law is different, so let's walk through what protections employees in each state are granted.

This story was originally published on May 24, 2017.

Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

Arizona



Paid sick leave: The state's paid sick leave policy goes into effect on July 1, 2017. People who work for employers with 15 or more employees have the right to at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours a year. Smaller employers also have to guarantee employees one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours they work, only up to 24 hours a year.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

California



Paid family leave: Employees who have been at their job for at least a year are guaranteed up to six weeks of paid family leave when they have a baby or need to take care of a sick relative or spouse. Californians receive about 55% of their normal wages — no less than $50 a week and no more than $1,067.

Paid sick leave: Workers are also entitled to at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a total of three days a year. Californians must work somewhere for 90 days before they can use this time, and they can also use it when their kids are sick.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

Connecticut



Paid sick leave: Employees in Connecticut accumulate one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours they work, but can't use more than 40 hours of leave each year. It can used to take care of a sick child or spouse.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

Massachusetts



Paid sick leave: The state guarantees workers one hour of sick time for every 30 hours they put in, but they can only use their paid sick days after 90 days with an employer. Along with their own medical needs, employees can use the time to care for a child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

New Jersey



Paid family leave: Employees in the state receive up to two-thirds of their wages, but no more than $524 a week, for six weeks. They must have worked for 20 calendar weeks before the paid leave is applicable.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

New York



Paid family leave: Beginning in 2018, employees become eligible for up to eight weeks of paid leave after they've worked 26 weeks in a row. The maximum amount of paid leave will increase to 10 weeks in 2019 and 12 weeks in 2021. Employees will receive up to 50% of their weekly earnings, or 50% of the state average, which will also increase slightly until 2022.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

Oregon



Paid sick leave: Employers must give their employees one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked or one-and-one-third hours for every 40 hours worked, up to 40 total hours a year. Employees can use this time after 90 days at the company.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

Rhode Island



Paid family leave: Employers that opt into Rhode Island's state program guarantee their employees four weeks of paid leave when having a baby, or adopting or fostering a child. Employees get the same amount of time to take care of a sick family member.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

Vermont



Paid sick leave: Vermont workers are guaranteed one hour for every 52 hours on the job, and employers have the right to hold an employee's accrued sick time until they've worked for a full year. Workers can use that time to take care of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child, foster child, sibling, parent-in-law, or grandchild.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

Washington



Paid family leave: A new law going into effect in 2020 will guarantee 12 weeks off for the birth or adoption of a child or for a serious medical condition of either the employee or the employee's family member. Washington first approved paid family leave in 2007, but there wasn't a clear plan for how to fund the program, and it never went into effect.

Paid sick leave: Starting in 2018, the state will require employers to give workers at least one hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours they work. It can be used to look after a sick family member.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

Washington D.C.



Paid family leave: Beginning in July 2020, Washington D.C. employees will be entitled to a maximum of six weeks of paid leave in a year to care for a sick family member, and up to eight weeks when giving birth, adopting, or fostering a child. The same law also guarantees up to two weeks of paid medical leave for employees diagnosed with a serious health condition.

Paid sick leave: Companies with 100 or more employees must give workers at least one hour of paid leave for every 37 hours worked, up to seven days per year. Employers with 24 to 99 employees must give one hour for every 43 hours worked, up to five days a year. And employers with fewer than 24 workers must guarantee one hour for every 87 hours worked, up to three days a year. The sick time can be used to care for a relative and can be used after 90 days.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

The Rest Of The U.S.



Many big cities — including New York City, Chicago, and Milwaukee — guarantee workers paid sick leave even though it hasn't been approved on the state level. But most of the country doesn't have any protections for paid leave of any kind.

Looking forward, legislation for paid family leave has been introduced in at least 19 states that don't yet have a policy on the books.