Paid Family Leave For Caregivers, Should States Pass This Law?

Paid family leave for caregivers, even if they’re family members, has been discussed in State Legislators for the past several years.

 

More than 40 million family caregivers in the United States, provide 37 billion hours of unpaid help, according to a 2013 AARP study, the most recent data available. Those numbers have pushed state and federal lawmakers to take a new look at compensating unpaid caregivers, who often are financially stressed.

 

paid family leave

Paid Family Leave: Current Status

While the federal government does not require private employers to offer paid family leave, some states already passed legislation that provides mandatory family-leave insurance. These programs provide parents and other caregivers with paid time off.

 

As of March 2018, only 16% of workers received employer-provided paid family leave, according to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

But, the tide is slowly turning. For example, as of September 2019, four states had government-sponsored family-leave insurance programs in effect. Five other states and the District of Columbia have passed similar laws that will soon go into effect. Payroll taxes for workers in the state cover the cost of this insurance, with contributions from the employee, the employer or both.

 

Paid Family Leave: Which States Passed This Law?

Here are the states that offer paid family leave.

California

Effective Date: In effect

Maximum benefit: $1,252 a week

How it works: Employees can receive up to 70 percent of their weekly earnings, for up to six weeks within any 12-month period. The leave period increases to eight weeks on July 1, 2020.

California was the first to enact paid family leave, launching its program in 2005.

 

New Jersey

Effective Date: In effect

Maximum benefit: $650 a week in 2019

How it works: Employees can receive 67 percent of their average weekly earnings for up to six weeks in a 12-month period to care for a family member. That increases to 12 weeks of caregiving on July 1, 2020.
 

New York

Effective Date: In effect

Maximum benefit: $746.41 a week in 2019, $840.70 in 2020

How it works: Employees can receive up to 60 percent of their average weekly earnings, for up to 10 weeks. This covers the care for a family member with a serious health condition. The maximum leave period increases to 12 weeks in 2021.

 

Rhode Island

Effective Date: In effect

Maximum benefit: $852 a week

How it works: Employees receive 60 percent of weekly earnings for up to four weeks. This covers a family member with a serious health condition.

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