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states with paid family leave

What Are the States With Paid Family Leave?

This article has been updated to reflect new Connecticut and Oregon laws.

If you look at how many employers offer paid family and medical leave, you’ll see an upward trend. Currently, 14% of U.S. workers have access to paid family leave. As the number of states with paid family leave rises, this number will, too.

California was the first state to implement state family leave laws in 2004. Since then, seven more states and Washington D.C. have adopted state FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act).

So, what is state family leave? What states offer paid family leave? And, how do state leave laws compare with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act? Get your questions answered below.

What is state family leave?

State family leave is a state-mandated law that provides employees with paid family and medical leave. States with paid family leave (PFL) require employees and/or employers to contribute to a paid leave fund. Eligible employees who work in states with state family and medical leave laws receive wages for qualifying reasons.

Each state with state-mandated paid FMLA sets their own rules about:

  • Reasons for paid leave
  • Who is considered a family member
  • How long employees can take paid leave
  • Which employees qualify for leave
  • Contribution amounts
  • Whether employees, employers, or both contribute
  • Paid family leave benefit amount

If you’re an employer with employees who work in one of the states with paid family leave, you need to know your responsibilities.

FMLA laws by state vs. federal FMLA

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act requires businesses with at least 50 employees to provide unpaid leave. FMLA guidelines for employers apply to qualifying businesses in all states.

Under federal law, employees can take leave for:

  • The birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child
  • The care of a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition
  • A personal serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform their job
  • A situation that requires attention because of the military deployment of a spouse, child, or parent

The main difference between federal and state FMLA laws is whether leave is paid or unpaid. Federal FMLA is unpaid. State FMLA is paid.

states with paid family leave

Further, states can decide when employees use paid leave, for how long, and benefit amounts.

State law requires employees, employers, or both to pay into a mandatory fund. You must deduct or contribute a specified percentage of an employee’s wages to fund paid family leave.

Because the federal FMLA is unpaid, you don’t have to worry about payroll deductions.

States with paid family leave

So, what states have paid family leave? There are currently six states with paid family leave, plus Washington D.C. The following have state leave laws:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • D.C.
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington

Some cities, like San Francisco, also require paid family leave.

what are the states with paid family leave map

Again, the number of states with paid family leave continues to grow. Other states that have proposed state FMLA bills include New Hampshire and Vermont. Keep an eye out for breaking news about state paid family leave.

Read on for a basic overview of FMLA laws by state.

California

If you’re an employer in California, you do not need to contribute to the state’s paid family leave program. However, you must withhold contributions from your employees’ wages for the employee-funded program.

To qualify for paid family leave, employees must pay into California’s State Disability Insurance. Withhold 1% from each employee’s wages. Stop withholding when the employee reaches the wage base of $118,371 for 2019.

Employees can take up to six weeks of California Paid Family Leave to:

  • Care for a seriously ill family member
  • Bond with a new child after birth, adoption, or foster care placement

Your employees are eligible if they pay into California’s State Disability Insurance program five-18 months before taking paid family leave.

Employees receive approximately 60-70% of their weekly salary through California’s paid family leave program.

Check out California’s website for more information on paid family leave.

Connecticut

Connecticut’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Program begins in January 2021. Employers must start withholding and remitting premiums on behalf of their employees.

Connecticut’s PFL is an employee-only program. Employees contribute 0.5% of their wages, up to the Social Security wage base.

Starting in January 2022, covered employees can take leave to:

  • Deal with a serious health condition
  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • Bond with a newly born, adopted, or fostered child
  • Donate an organ or bone marrow
  • Deal with a situation related to the military deployment of a family member
  • Handle situations related to family violence

Head on over to Connecticut’s website and contact the state for more information.

D.C.

Washington D.C.’s upcoming Paid Family Leave program started in April 2019. Employers must begin remitting premiums starting July 1, 2019. D.C.’s program is the lone employer-only program. This means that D.C. employers do not withhold premiums from employee wages.

Employers must pay 0.62% of each employee’s wages. You must pay this premium if you are covered by the D.C. Unemployment Compensation Act.

Employees can begin taking paid leave starting in July 2020 to:

  • Bond with a new child (up to eight weeks)
  • Care for an ill family member with a serious health condition (up to six weeks)
  • Deal with their own serious health condition (up to two weeks)

For more information about this upcoming state family leave program, check out Washington D.C.’s website.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) is an employee and employer program. All employees and employers with 25 or more employees must contribute to Massachusetts paid family leave.

For 2019, the Massachusetts PFML contribution rate is 0.75% of an employee’s wages. Withhold and contribute this rate until the employee earns above the Social Security wage base. For 2019, the SS wage base is $132,900.

Contributions to PFML begin on October 1, 2019. Be sure to report and remit contributions to the state.

In 2021, employees can begin taking benefits. To qualify, your employees must have at least 15 weeks of earnings and have earned at least $4,700 in wages during the 12-month period before.

Massachusetts’ program provides up to 12 weeks of paid family, 20 weeks of paid medical, or up to 26 weeks of paid care for a service family member leave. Employees can take paid leave to:

  • Deal with a serious medical condition
  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • Bond with a child or adopted child during the first 12 months after birth or adoption
  • Deal with a family member being on active duty

Employees can receive a maximum benefit of $850 while on paid leave.

View Massachusetts’ website for more information on paid family leave.

New Jersey

New Jersey Family Leave Insurance is an employee-funded program.

You must withhold 0.08% of an employee’s wages and remit it to the state. However, only withhold up to New Jersey’s taxable wage base.

In 2019, New Jersey’s taxable wage base is $34,400. The maximum amount you can deduct from your employees’ wages is $27.52.

Employees can take up to six weeks of paid time off to:

  • Bond with a newborn or newly adopted child
  • Care for a seriously ill or injured family member

To be eligible, employees must have paid into the program. Employees must work at least 20 weeks and earn $172 or more per week or at least $8,600 in the past 12 months to qualify for the program.

Employees who take paid leave receive two-thirds of their average weekly wages. In 2019, employees can earn a maximum of $650 per week while on paid leave.

For more information, check out New Jersey’s website.

New York

New York’s Paid Family Leave is an employee-only program. As an employer, you do not need to pay into the PFL fund.

Withhold 0.153% of each employee’s wages, up to a cap of $107.97 per year. Stop withholding when an employee earns $70,568.63.

Employees can use paid family and medical leave to:

  • Bond with a newly-born, adopted, or fostered child
  • Care for a close relative with a serious health condition
  • Assist when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service

To qualify for New York paid leave, employees must work 26 consecutive weeks full time or 175 days part time.

Employees can take up to 10 weeks of PFL in 2019. Benefit amounts are 55% of an employee’s average weekly wage, up to a maximum of $746.41.

The state of New York plans to increase weekly wage percentage and length of PFL until 2021. For more information, consult New York’s website.

Oregon

Oregon’s upcoming paid family leave program is still in the works. Although the contribution rate hasn’t been solidified, it is set to be both an employee and employer program. Employee payroll contributions begin January 2022.

Covered employees can use Oregon paid family leave to:

  • Recover from a serious illness
  • Care for a loved one recovering from a serious illness
  • Deal with issues related to domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking

For more information about the new law, contact Oregon.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s paid family leave program is divided into two programs:

  • Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI)
  • Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI)

If you’re an employer in Rhode Island, you must withhold 1.1% from your employees’ wages for TDI and TCI. Do not contribute to the program.

Stop withholding when an employee earns above the 2019 wage base of $71,000.

Employees can use TDI or TCI benefits to:

  • Bond with a newly-born, adopted, or fostered child
  • Care for a seriously ill family member
  • Deal with their own temporary disability or injury

To qualify for paid family leave, employees must pay into the fund and earn at least $12,600.

Eligible employees can take up to four weeks of leave to bond with a child or care for a seriously ill family member. The maximum weekly benefit amount is $852.

For more information about Rhode Island’s program, check out their website.

Washington

If you’re a Washington employer, you must withhold the Washington paid family leave premium from employee wages. If you have 50 or more employees, you must also contribute an employer portion.

For 2019, the premium is a flat rate of 0.4% of an employee’s wages. This is the combined total of both employee and employer portions.

Withhold 63% of 0.4% from employee wages. If you are a qualifying employer, contribute 37% of 0.4% to the PFL program.

Only withhold and contribute to Washington’s paid family and medical leave program until the employee meets the wage base.

Washington’s PFL wage base is the same as the Social Security wage base, which is $132,900 in 2019.

Report and remit premiums quarterly.

Employees can access PFL benefits in 2020, after working 820 hours. Employees can take up to 12 weeks of paid time off if they:

  • Have a baby or adopt
  • Become ill or injured off the job
  • Need to care for an ill or injured family member

Employees can receive a maximum of $1,000 per week in paid leave benefits.

If you have questions about the program, view Washington’s website.

State-mandated paid family leave and payroll

As an employer, you must accurately withhold deductions, like state-mandated paid family leave, and taxes from an employee’s wages.

So, which comes first? Do you withhold taxes before or after you deduct PFL premiums?

PFL premiums are post-tax deductions. This means you must withhold taxes before you deduct state premiums from employee wages.

states with paid family leave chart

Calculating state-mandated paid family leave doesn’t have to consume your time. Use Patriot Software to calculate and withhold state paid family leave premiums from employee wages. Get a feel for our software with your self-guided demo, and find out what you could do with the time you save!

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This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.

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