Family / Medical Leave – State Laws

 

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law allowing employees to take time off of work for certain health and family reasons. The FMLA gives employees the right to take leave for serious health conditions, to bond with a new child, and military family leave. For more information on the Family and Medical Leave Act, visit the FMLA page. In addition to the federal FMLA statute, 12 states and the District of Columbia have their own law governing unpaid family and medical leave. Some differences between state and federal laws include: the number of employees needed to be covered by the law, the conditions of leave, minimum hours required to be a covered employee, and length of the leave granted. It is important to check state laws in conjunction with FMLA to be fully aware of your leave rights. 

Connecticut

All employers with at least one employee in Connecticut are covered by the the Connecticut Family and Medial Leave Act (CFMLA). Employers have the following obligations under the CFMLA.

  • Employees are eligible after three months of employment.
  • Eligible employees are entitled 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for various covered reasons.
  • Two additional weeks may be available for an incapacitating serious health condition during a pregnancy.
  • If the employer is also covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, these leave periods may or may not run concurrently.

An eligible employee may take CTFMLA leave for any of the following reasons:

  • Birth of a child and care for the child within the first year after birth;
  • The placement of a child for adoption or foster care and care for the child;
  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition;
  • Because of an employee’s own serious health condition;
  • To serve as an organ or bone marrow donor;
  • To address qualifying exigencies arising from a spouse, son, daughter or parent’s active-duty service in the armed forces; and
  • To care for a spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin with a serious injury or illness incurred on active duty in the armed forces.

“Employer” means a person engaged in any activity, enterprise or business who employs seventy-five or more employees, and includes any person who acts, directly or indirectly, in the interest of an employer to any of the employees of such employer and any successor in interest of an employer, but shall not include the state, a municipality, a local or regional board of education, or a private or parochial elementary or secondary school. The number of employees of an employer shall be determined on October first annually. “Employee” means any person engaged in service to an employer in the business of the employer. 

There is no expiration date for the law. See the law for more information.

District of Columbia

Under the DC FMLA private and public employers with at least 20 employees must allow eligible employees to take up to 16 weeks of family leave (to care for a family member) plus 16 weeks of medical leave (for employee’s own serious health condition) in any 24-month period. Family leave can be taken for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child, for the permanent placement of a child for whom the employee permanently assumes and discharges parental responsibility, or to take care of a family member with a serious health condition. Family members include anyone related to the employee by blood, custody, or marriage, and anyone with whom the employee shares a residence and has a committed relationship. Employees taking leave for birth or placement of a child must use the leave within 12 months of the birth or placement. Leave must be shared by family members working for the same employer. Intermittent leave may be taken when a family member or the employee himself or herself has a serious health condition.

In order to be eligible for leave, employees must have been employed by the employer for one year without a break in service except for regular holidays, sick or personal leave granted by employer, and have worked for at least 1,000 hours (average of 19 hours/week) during the 12-month period prior to the leave request.

An eligible employee may elect accrued paid family, vacation, personal, or compensatory leave to be substituted for family or medical care leave. An employee must provide timely notice to the employer of a need for leave. If the leave was foreseeable, the employee must notify the employer of the need for leave 30 days prior to the commencement of the leave. If the leave was not foreseeable, the employee must provide notice as soon as possible prior to the date on which the employee wishes the leave to begin. When an emergency prevents the employee from being able to notify the employer prior to the first day of absence, the employee must notify the employer not later than two 2 business days after the absence begins.

Similar to the federal statute, employers must maintain all of the employee’s benefits during leave including seniority and health benefits. The employer is required to return the employee to the same position they held prior to the leave. However, job reinstatement is not required if the employer has fewer than 50 employees and the employee who took leave was one of the 5 highest paid employees, or if the employer has 50 or more employees and the employee who took leave was amongst the highest 10% of employees paid. In addition, D.C. also allows for up to 24 hours of school or parental leave.

Employers with at least one employee working in Washington DC are subject to the new Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefit, under the Universal Paid Leave Act (UPLA).  The Act creates a paid leave system funded by employers for those employed in the district. Covered employers are required to contribute an amount equal to 0.62 percent of the wages of each of their covered employees to the Universal Paid Leave Implementation Fund. Eligible individuals may then file a claim for paid leave benefits for a qualifying leave event, with those benefits to be paid out of the fund.

Hawaii

Under the Hawaii Family Leave Law, employers that have 100 or more employees for each working day during 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year must provide unpaid leave for eligible employees. Employees may take up to four weeks of leave during a 12-month period to care for a newly born or adopted child, or to care for a family member with a serious health condition (including parents-in-law, grandparents, grandparents-in-law, and reciprocal beneficiaries). Unlike the federal FMLA, employees cannot use this leave for their own serious health conditions. In order to be eligible for leave, employees must have worked for the employer for 6 consecutive months. Spouses employed by the same employer are not required to share leave. Intermitted leave is permitted for birth, adoption placement, and serious health condition of a family member. See the Hawaii Department of Human Resources website for more information.

When requesting leave, if the event is foreseeable, an employee must provide practicable and reasonable notice. Like the FMLA under the Hawaii Family Leave Law, all benefits must be maintained during leave, and the employee must be restored to the same position and terms of employment.

Illinois

Child Bereavement. Eligible employees of public and private employers with more than 50 employees are entitled to a maximum of 2 weeks (10 work days) of unpaid bereavement time following the death of a child.  Employees may be entitled to up to 6 weeks of bereavement time in the event of the death of more than one child during a twelve-month period. An employee is eligible for the leave after 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the prior 12 month period. See the Illinois Department of Labor website  and FAQs for more information.

School Visitation Rights Act. Employed parents and guardians who are unable to meet with educators because of a work conflict have the right to an allotment of unpaid time during the school year to attend necessary educational or behavioral conferences at the school their children attend. “Employee” means a petson who performs services for hire for an employer for:

  • at least six consecutive months immediagtely preceding a request for leave under the act; and
  • an average number of hours per week equal to at lease one-half the full-time equivalent position in the employer’s job classification, as defined by the employer’s personnel policies or practices or in accordance with a collective bargaining agreement, during those six months. 

“Employer” means any of the following: a State agency, officer, or department, a unit of local government, a school district, an individual, a corporation, a partnership, an association, or a nonprofit organization. There is no expiration date on the law. See the law for more information.  

Military Family Leave Act. Employers with at least 15 employees must allow eligible employees to take time off to spend time with a spouse or child while that person’s federal or state deployment orders are in effect. The amount of leave available depends on the size of the employer:

  • Employers with at least 50 employees must provide up to 30 days of unpaid leave.
  • Smaller employers must provide up to 15 days of unpaid leave.

There is no expiration date on the law. See the law for more information.

Louisiana

Louisiana allows for up to 16 hours of school or parental leave to attend school related activities or events on behalf of the employee’s child if those activities cannot be scheduled outside of work. See the law for more information.

Maine

Every employee who has been employed by the same employer for 12 consecutive months is entitled to up to 10 work weeks of family medical leave in any 2 years unless employed at a permanent work site with fewer than 15 employees. The following conditions apply to family medical leave granted under this law:  

  • The employee must give at least 30 days’ notice of the intended date upon which family medical leave will commence and terminate, unless prevented by medical emergency from giving that notice;
  • The employer may require certification from a physician to verify the amount of leave requested by the employee, except that an employee who in good faith relies on treatment by prayer or spiritual means, in accordance with the tenets and practice of a recognized church or religious denomination, may submit certification from an accredited practitioner of those healing methods; and 
  • The employer and employee may negotiate for more or less leave, but both parties must agree.

There is no expiration date on the law. See the law for more information.

Massachusetts

Employers with 50 or more employees must provide up to 24 hours per year of unpaid leave to participate in children’s educational activities or accompany a child, spouse, or elderly relative to routine medical appointments. See the Massachusetts website for more information.

Minnesota

Under the Minnesota Parental Leave Act employers who have more than 21 employees must provide parental leave to eligible employees. To be eligible for leave, the employee( must have worked for the covered employer for 12 consecutive months working at least half time. Employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave upon the birth or adoption of their child. The leave must be taken within 12 months of the birth or adoption. See this FAQ and the Minnesota Department of Labor website for more information.

Minnesota allows for up to 16 hours of school or parental leave to attend school related activities or events on behalf of the employee’s child. See this FAQ for more information.

Employers are required to provide employees who need to express breast milk for their infant child reasonable break times each day. Employers may not reduce an employee’s compensation for time used for the purpose of expressing milk for 12-months following the birth of the child. Employers with at least 15 employees are covered under the pregnancy accommodations provision; there is no longer any length of time or average number of hours per week an employee must satisfy to qualify for the accommodation rights and protections under the statute. See Minnesota Statute Section 181.939 for more information. 

Nevada

Nevada employers shall grant leave to a parent, guardian, or custodian of a child who is enrolled in a public school for up to four (4) hours each school year to (1) attend parent-teacher conferences, (2) attend school-related activities during regular school hours, (3) volunteer or otherwise be involved in school activities during regular school hours, and (4) attend school-sponsored events. Any leave taken for these activities must be taken in increments of at least one (1) hour and must be at a time mutually agreed upon by the employer and employee. There is no requirement that this leave be paid. There is no expiration date for the law. See the law for more information. 

North Carolina

North Carolina allows for up to 4 hours of school or parental leave to attend school related activities or events on behalf of the employees child. There is no expiration date for the law. See the North Carolina Department of Labor website for more information. 

Oregon

Under the Oregon Family Leave Act, employers with 25 or more employees in the State of Oregon must provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for:

  • Parental leave (either parent can take time off for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child). 
  • Serious health condition (your own, or to care for a spouse, parent, parent-in-law, child, grandparent or grandchild, same-sex domestic partner or parent or child of a same-sex domestic partner).
  • Pregnancy disability leave (before or after birth of child or for prenatal care). 
  • Sick child leave (for your child with an illness or injury that requires home care but is not serious). You can also take protected time if your child’s school or childcare provider is closed due to a statewide public health emergency, such as COVID-19 pandemic school closures.
  • Military family leave (up to 14 days if your spouse or same-sex domestic partner is a service member who has been called to active duty or is on leave from active duty).
  • Bereavement leave (up to 2 weeks of leave after the death of a family member).

To be eligible for leave, employees must have worked an average of 25 hours per week for 180 days. There is no expiration date for the law. See the Oregon’s Labor and Industries website for more information.

Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Parental and Family Leave Act covers private employers with 50 or more employees, any state agency, and any city, town, or municipal agency that employs 30 or more employees. These covered employers must provide eligible employees with up to 13 consecutive work weeks of parental or family leave for a 24 month period. To be eligible leave employees must be full time, working on average 30 or more hours per week for 12 consecutive months prior to the effective date of leave. Leave can be taken as parental leave or family leave.

Parental leave means leave by reason of the birth of a child of an employee, or the placement or adoption of a child 16 years of age or less. Employees are eligible to apply for leave if they are fulltime employees who work an average of 30 hours a week or more and have been employed continuously for at least 12 months. Family leave refers to leave by reason of the serious illness of a family member. A family member includes a parent, spouse, child, mother-in-law, father-in-law, or the employee him or herself. An employee who has been employed for 12 consecutive months is entitled to 10 hours of leave during any 12 month period to attend school conferences or other school-related activities for a child of whom the employee is the parent, foster parent, or guardian. There is no expiration date for the law. See this FAQ for more information. 

Vermont

Vermont’s Parental Leave Law covers employers with 10 or more workers who work an average of 30 hours per week over the course of a year. Vermont’s Family Leave Law, which includes Short-Term Family Leave, covers employers with 15 or more workers who work an average of 30 hours per week over the course of a year. An employee who has worked for a covered employer for an average of 30 hours a week for a year is entitled to leave under these laws. During any 12 month period, the employee is entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave:

  • Parental Leave: during the pregnancy and/or after childbirth; or, within a year following the initial placement of a child 16 years of age or younger with the worker for the purpose of adoption;
  • Family Leave: for the serious illness of the worker, worker’s child, stepchild, ward, foster child, party to a civil union, parent, spouse, or parent of the worker’s spouse.

There is no expiration date on the law. See the law for more information.

In addition to the leave provided by the Parental Leave Law, an employee is entitled to short-term family unpaid leave of up to 4 hours in any 30 day period (but not more than 24 hours in any 12 month period) to:

  • Participate in preschool or school activities directly related to the academic advancement of the worker’s child, stepchild, foster child or ward who lives with the worker;
  • Attend or to accompany the worker’s child, stepchild, foster child or ward who lives with the worker or the worker’s parent, spouse or parent-in-law to routine medical or dental appointments;
  • Accompany the worker’s parent, spouse, or parent-in-law to other appointments for professional services related to their care and well-being;
  • Respond to a medical emergency involving the employee’s child, stepchild, foster child or ward who lives with the worker or the employee’s parent, spouse or parent-in-law.  

There is no expiration date for the law. See this FAQ for more information.

Wisconsin

Under the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act, employers with at least 50 permanent employees during at least 6 of the preceding 12 calendar months, must provide family and medical leave to eligible employees. To be eligible for leave employees must have worked for the covered employer for at least 1,000 hours in the preceding 52 consecutive weeks.

Eligible employees are allowed the following leave within a 12 month period:

  • Up to 6 weeks for the birth or adoption of a child,
  • Two weeks of leave for a child, spouse, domestic partner or parent or parent of a domestic partner with a serious health condition, and
  • Two weeks for employee’s own serious health condition.

Intermittent leave is permitted in increments equal to the shortest increment permitted by the employer for any other non-emergency leave. An eligible employee can choose to substitute accrued paid or unpaid leave family and medical care leave. Notice of leave must be given in a reasonable and practicable manner. All of the provisions of the FMLA regarding maintaining benefits and job restoration apply. The time limit for filing a state medical leave complaint in Wisconsin is 30 days, so do not delay.

There is no expiration date for the law. See the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development website for more information.