The Congressional Research Service issued a report analyzing paid family leave throughout the United States. The report reviews employer-provided paid leave programs and state-run family leave insurance programs.
Paid family leave refers to partially or fully compensated time away from work for an employee to address significant family caregiving needs. While the Family and Medical Leave Act requires certain employers to provide unpaid, job-protected leave to an employee for certain circumstances, there is no federal law requiring an employer to provide any sort of paid leave. A private sector employer’s offering of any paid leave is completely voluntary.
Some states have laws that create state paid family leave insurance programs which provide cash benefits to eligible employees who need an absence for caregiving activities. California, Rhode Island, and New Jersey have programs which offer benefits to eligible workers. Other states are following and are implementing similar programs.
According to the Congressional Research Service, 13% of private-industry employees had access to paid family leave, with the greatest rate found in professional and technical, high paid occupations.
The report is an interesting overview of paid leave offerings in the US and provides a framework for employers and the government to use when considering leave programs. The report may be accessed by clicking here.