In recent years, momentum around paid family leave policies at the state level has been steadily growing. The public sector in particular has seen a rapid increase in dedicated paid parental or family leave policies, and A Better Balance is now working in every corner of the country to advance new paid family leave rights for government employees. Our new interactive map provides a first-of-its-kind detailed look at each of these policies across 32 states, plus D.C.
Policies that provide dedicated paid family leave for state government employees to care for a new child and, in some cases, a seriously-ill family member, are critically important steps forward in the movement to expand access to paid leave. Thanks to these policies, state employees across the country are able to bond with a new child or care for their loved ones without sacrificing their income, savings, or paid sick days.
These paid family leave policies not only directly benefit millions of state government employees and their families, but they also put additional pressure on private sector employers to strengthen their own paid leave policies in order to remain competitive. Improvements to public sector workplace protections also help advance racial and gender equity, since women and Black workers are disproportionately represented in the public sector workforce.
A Better Balance has been proud to provide technical and strategic support to partners and key stakeholders in many of these states–including Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee—in getting public sector paid family leave policies across the finish line. Just this month, Arizona also expanded state employee leave benefits to include 12 weeks of paid parental leave and greater sick leave rights for family care—a big win for state employees that we were proud to support through technical assistance.
We are thrilled to build on this momentum and look forward to adding more states to this growing list.