In the absence of a federal paid family leave policy, states vary widely on if and how they require paid family leave. Family leave is used primarily to care for a newborn child, but also to meet other exceptional caregiving needs, such as for an older, disabled, or chronically ill relative, or a newly adopted child. In addition to economic benefits for families, paid family leave promotes parent-infant bonding, can increase the likelihood of breastfeeding, lessen the likelihood of maternal depression, promote fathers’ involvement in childrearing, increase mothers’ attachment to the labor force, and reduce reliance on public assistance.
The National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF) produced a table summarizing state paid family and medical leave insurance laws, as of January 2021. States that have enacted a policy, but whose policy has not yet taken effect are counted as having a policy. NPWF references the term “family leave” to mean time off to care for another person in the family, such as a newborn or newly adopted child, child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition.
Schulte, B., Durana, A., Stout, B., & Moyer, J. (2017). Paid family leave: How much time is enough? New America. https://www.newamerica.org/better-life-lab/reports/paid-family-leave-how-much-time-enough/
National Partnership for Women and Families. (2021). State paid family and medical leave insurance laws. https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/economic-justice/paid-leave/state-paid-family-leave-laws.pdf