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Paid Family & Medical Leave

When a new child arrives or serious illness strikes, you often need time off from work. But for many Americans, it’s not that simple.

That’s because the United States is one of the only countries on the planet that does not guarantee paid family and medical leave. Far too many Americans are forced to sacrifice their savings, or lose their jobs altogether, when they need time to care for themselves or their families.

We are advancing paid leave laws around the country so that all workers can savor the joys and weather the inevitable crises that life delivers without worrying about how to pay the bills. We will not rest until all America’s workers have access to paid family and medical leave.


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Paid Family and Medical Leave Legislative Successes in the States

Momentum for paid family and medical leave at the state level continues to build. Nine states and Washington D.C. have passed into law programs to provide pay to workers taking time off to bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill loved one, or recover from one’s own serious health condition. These laws have been passed in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., and Washington State. Still other states are lining up to pass their own paid family and medical leave plans.


The proposed Federal Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act would create an insurance program to provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave to recover from a serious illness or to care for a new child or seriously ill family member. Learn more about the FAMILY Act here.

The Family and Medical Leave Act

The FMLA has helped many working Americans balance the demands of work and family, by protecting their jobs while they take time off to recover from illness or care for loved ones. Yet the FMLA’s reach is far too limited. Read more about this important law and how it may apply to you. Read more about this important law and how it may apply to you.


Percentage of US mothers who return to work within less than 2 weeks of giving birth


Number of countries that do not guarantee paid maternity leave (the United States, Suriname and Papua New Guinea)


Percentage of private sector workers in the US who have access to paid family leave in the event of a new child or a family health emergency

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