The United States, despite being a developed and affluent nation, lacks federal paid parental leave. In 2022, the Biden-Harris administration attempted to tackle this issue but faced a reduction in the proposed paid parental leave duration from twelve weeks to four weeks, which is still under consideration by Congress.

As such, the efforts of states play a crucial role in progressing toward the goal of federally mandated paid parental leave. Before 2023, ten states had passed the paid parental leave into law. These states include New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, California, Washington D.C, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The provisions of these states oscillate between six to sixteen weeks. Also, some of the states such as Maryland, Rhode Island, and New York have expanded or proposed expansions of the policy.

States and Paid Parental Leave Actions in 2023

In 2023, several states demonstrated their dedication to paid parental leave. Among them were Arizona, Iowa, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Maine, Vermont, and North Carolina. These states instituted paid parental leave for their state employees, allowing them to care for family members dealing with illness, adopted foster children, or newborns. The implementation of this policy in Minnesota and Maine is scheduled for 2026, while in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Iowa, the policy is currently under consideration. Additionally, the paid parental leave policies adopted by these states are rooted in the framework of Family and Medical Leave.

Overall, the commitment shown by states is a positive move. It instills hope for a more inclusive provision that extends paid parental leave to individuals employed in private organizations. This would encompass those working in organizations with fewer than fifty employees. It also portends an opportunity for employee retention and well-being, most especially for female employees. Looking forward to 2024, there is hope that more states will commit and the federal policy will get approved and enacted.

Read More:

Prenatal to 3 Policy, Paid Family Leave,,As%20of%20October%201%2C%202023.