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Paid Family and Medical Leave Policies

This policy inventory compiles some paid family and medical leave (PFML) policies that states can choose to put into place to support economic security for families with young children.

Implementing or Expanding Paid Family and Medical Leave

  • Offering paid family leave for a minimum of six weeks with partial replacement of wages.  As of 2023, 11 states have passed PFML laws: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington state, along with Washington, D.C. New Hampshire and Virginia have passed private paid leave insurance laws. 

Six states have implemented PFML policies.


California, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, Connecticut, District of Columbia (overview from New America)

New Hampshire


Case Study: 

New Jersey (from New America)


BPC: Paid Family Leave: The Basics

BPC: State Paid Family Leave Laws across the US

NCCP: Early Childhood Profiles

New America: Explainer: Paid and Unpaid Leave Policies in the United States

New America: Explainer: Paid Leave Benefits and Funding in the United States

Pn3 Policy Impact Center: Paid Family Leave

Bureau of Labor Statistics data on paid family leave: here and here

Center for American Progress: Video: State momentum on paid leave

Allowing Sick Days Accrual

  • Offering accrual of at least five paid sick days

Fourteen states have implemented accrual of sick days.

Source: NCCP: Early Childhood Profiles

Expanding Paid Family Leave and Wage Replacement

  • Expanding the number of weeks available for leave
  • Increasing wage replacement, particularly so that low-income workers are better able to afford to take advantage of paid family and medical leave


ZTT: Pathways to Prosperity: Promoting Economic Security for Families with Infants and Toddlers