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2020: A Year Of Improvements To Paid Family & Medical Leave Laws Nationwide

2020: A Year of Improvements to Paid Family & Medical Leave Laws Nationwide

As 2020 ushers in a new decade, it brings with it many changes to paid family and medical leave laws throughout the U.S.—a cause for celebration for workers and their families.

Washington State’s paid family and medical leave program officially went live on January 1. Workers can now receive benefits for up to 12 weeks for medical leave or family leave, up to a total of 16 weeks of benefits in a 52-week period. Nearly all employees in the state are covered, including both public and private sector workers, and self-employed workers can opt in to coverage.

On the East Coast, New York State began the third phase of its gradual increases to workers’ benefits for paid family leave. As of January 1, New York workers that take paid family leave can now receive a weekly benefit of 60% of their average weekly wage, up to 60% of the statewide average weekly wage – currently $840.70.

Exciting developments in the paid family and medical leave world will continue throughout 2020. Washington, D.C.’s universal paid leave program will go live on July 1, granting workers benefits for medical leave, bonding leave, and family caregiving. On the same day, big changes will also come to New Jersey’s paid family and medical leave program: the amount of time that workers can receive benefits for family leave will double, from 6 weeks to 12 weeks and workers will also see more generous benefit amounts. Similar to New Jersey, in July, California’s family leave program will increase the number of weeks for which workers can receive benefits, from 6 weeks to 8 weeks.

As we continue to work toward bigger and better paid family and medical leave policies for all workers, we are energized by these latest developments. For a closer look at current paid family and medical leave laws and changes to come, please visit our Comparative Chart of Paid Family and Medical Leave Laws in the United States.

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