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Best states for maternity leave

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Sebastian Bass // Flickr

Best States for maternity leave

All eyes have been on the American Supreme Court in the past few weeks, as the country watches the appointment process for a judge who could tip the balances into overturning Roe v. Wade. Motherhood is once again up for debate: What responsibilities does a woman have to her potential future child?

Yet motherhood only begins with the decision to give birth. It extends through a nine-month pregnancy, the first couple of years of intense care, and further years after that. The early periods of a child’s life are particularly arduous as new parents must take care of food, sleep, changing diapers, and so many other basic needs of their children.

Raising a child is a significant responsibility for all parents, regardless of who those parents are, but it can be particularly challenging for parents in the workforce. Some parents can rely on supportive policies, including paid maternity leave, flexible sick days, and unemployment insurance modernization. Other parents are largely on their own, forced to take time out of the jobs upon which they rely for survival in order to take care of their children. America as a whole has been criticized for poor protections for working mothers, compared to other similarly developed countries.

In order to evaluate the best places in the country to be a working parent, Stacker turned to the National Partnership for Women and Families’ “Raising Expectations” report. National Partnership performed a comprehensive analysis of state policies supporting working parents before and after the arrival of a new child. Each state was scored and given a grade from A to F; the score is based on protections that state provides for private sector and public employees (with private sector protections weighted more heavily).

This report specifically compares each states’ policies to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, which protects employees in taking unpaid, job-protected leave for specific family and medical reasons, including the birth of a child and caring for spouses, children, or parents with serious health conditions. In this study, National Partnership found that 25 of 50 states have done “little or nothing” to supplement the baseline protections set out in FMLA. Only six states earned a grade of “A” or “A-,” and not a single state earns a grade of “A+.”

Read on to find out how your state scores—if you have a child or an emerging health issue, how are you protected?

ALSO: Best and worst states for working dads

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IIP Photo Archive // Flickr

Alabama: F

Points awarded: 0

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Job-protected parental leave
—State workers: Job-protected parental leave, flexible use of sick time

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Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce // Flickr

Idaho: F

Points awarded: 0

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Job-protected parental leave, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Ken Lund/ Wikimedia Commons

Michigan: F

Points awarded: 0

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Flexible use of sick time

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Ken Lund // Flickr

Mississippi: F

Points awarded: 0

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Job-protected family and medical leave, job-protected parental leave, paid sick days
—State workers: Job-protected family leave, job-protected pregnancy and parental leave, job-protected adoption leave, flexible use of sick time

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ErgoSum88 // Wikicommons

Nebraska: F

Points awarded: 0

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Paid disability/maternity leave, paid family leave, paid parental leave

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Wikicommons

North Dakota: F

Points awarded: 0

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Paid family and medical leave (to take effect Jan. 1, 2019 with benefits payable beginning on Jan. 1, 2020), job-protected family leave, job-protected medical leave for pregnancy disability, paid sick days, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Paid family and medical leave, job-protected family and medical leave, job-protected parental leave, job-protected pregnancy disability leave, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Jon Platek // Wikicommons

South Dakota: F

Points awarded: 0

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Job-protected family leave, flexible use of sick time

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Garrett // Wikimedia Commons

Utah: F

Points awarded: 0

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Job-protected family and medical leave, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Job-protected parental leave, job-protpected family and medical leave, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Pixabay

Wyoming: F

Points awarded: 0

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Flexible use of sick time

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IIP Photo Archive // Flickr

Nevada: D-

Points awarded: 5

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Job-protected family and medical leave, paid sick days, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Job-protected family and medical leave, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Good Free Photos

New Mexico: D-

Points awarded: 5

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Job-protected family and medical leave, flexible use of sick time

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Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau // Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma: D-

Points awarded: 5

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Paid job-protected family leave and paid medical leave, job-protected family leave, paid sick days, unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Paid job-protected family leave and paid medical leave, job-protected family leave, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Pixabay

South Carolina : D-

Points awarded: 5

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Sixflashphoto // Wikicommons

Tennessee : D-

Points awarded: 5

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Flexible use of sick time

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tableatny // Flickr

Georgia: D

Points awarded: 10

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Job-protected family and medical leave, job-protected family leave, flexible use of sick time

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Jasssmit // Wikimedia Commons

Indiana: D

Points awarded: 10

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Flexible use of sick time

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The Pug Father // Flickr

Kentucky: D

Points awarded: 10

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Paid parental leave, paid medical leave, flexible use of sick time

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Sam valadi // Flickr

Missouri: D

Points awarded: 10

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Unemployment insurance modernization

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MaxPIxel

Delaware: D+

Points awarded: 15

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Job-protected pregnancy disability leave
—State workers: Job-protected pregnancy disability leave, job-protected parental leave, flexible use of sick time

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JoshWest.com // Flickr

Iowa: D+

Points awarded: 15

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Flexible use of sick time

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Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau // Flickr

Louisiana: D+

Points awarded: 15

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Pxhere

New Hampshire: D+

Points awarded: 15

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Job-protected medical leave for pregnancy disability, unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Job-protected medical leave for pregnancy disability, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Jordan // Flickr

Pennsylvania: D+

Points awarded: 15

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Paid family and medical leave, job-protected family leave, paid sick days (to take effect Oct. 29, 2018)
—State workers: Paid family and medical leave, job-protected family leave, flexible use of sick time

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IIP Photo Archive // Flickr

Texas: D+

Points awarded: 15

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Job-protected leave, flexible use of sick time

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Pixabay

West Virginia: D+

Points awarded: 15

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Paid job-protected family leave and paid medical leave, unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Paid job-protected family leave, job-protected parental leave, job-protected pregnancy leave, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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UltraView Admin // Flickr

Florida: C-

Points awarded: 20

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Job-protected parental leave, paid sick days, flexible use of sick time
—State workers: Paid parental leave (to take effect Oct. 1, 2018), flexible use of sick time

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Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

Kansas: C-

Points awarded: 20

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Paid, job-protected family and medical leave (to take effect Jan. 1, 2019, with benefits payable beginning on Jan. 1, 2021 and July 1, 2021), job-protected parental leave, paid six days
—State workers: Paid job-protected family and medical leave, job-protected parental leave, job-protected family and medical leave, flexible use of sick time

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Pixabay

Montana: C-

Points awarded: 20

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Flexible use of sick time

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Wikicommons

North Carolina: C-

Points awarded: 20

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Job-protected parental and pregnancy disability leave, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Job-protected parental and pregnancy disability leave, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Robbt // Flickr

Ohio: C-

Points awarded: 20

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Flexible use of sick time

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Jim // Wikimedia Commons

Virginia: C-

Points awarded: 20

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Paid parental leave, flexible use of sick time

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Paxson Woelber // Flickr

Alaska: C

Points awarded: 25

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Job-protected family and medical leave, flexible use of sick time

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Bruce W. Stracener // Wikimedia Commons

Arkansas: C

Points awarded: 25

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Job-protected medical leave for pregnancy disability
—State workers: Job-protected medical leave for pregnancy disability

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Larry Johnson // Flickr

Colorado: C

Points awarded: 25

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Job-protected family and medical leave, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Job-protected family and medical leave, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Alan Stark // Flickr

Arizona: C

Points awarded: 30

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Job-protected family and medical leave, flexible use of sick time

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AlexiusHoratius // Wikimedia Commons

Minnesota: C+

Points awarded: 35

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Job-protected medical leave for pregnancy disability, unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Job-protected medical leave for pregnancy disability, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Tony Webster // Flickr

Illinois: C+

Points awarded: 40

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Paid parental leave, job-protected family leave, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

39/
GoodFreePhotos

Maryland: C+

Points awarded: 40

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Paid parental leave, flexible use of sick time

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Ken Lund // Flickr

Maine: B-

Points awarded: 55

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Paid medical leave, job-protected family leave, job-protected medical leave for pregnancy disability, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Paid medical leave, job-protected family leave, job-protected medical leave for pregnancy disability, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Pixabay

Wisconsin: B-

Points awarded: 55

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Flexible use of sick time

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Bob P. B. // Flickr

Vermont: B

Points awarded: 60

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Flexible use of sick time
—State workers: Flexible use of sick time

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Anthony Quintano // Flickr

Hawaii: B

Points awarded: 75

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Job-protected family leave, flexible use of sick time

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M.O. Stevens // Wikimedia Commons

Oregon: B+

Points awarded: 85

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Paid family and medical Leave (to take effect July 1, 2019, with benefits payable beginning on July 1, 2020), job-protected family and medical leave, paid sick days, unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Paid job-protected family leave, job-protected family and medical leave, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Good Free Photos

Connecticut: B+

Points awarded: 90

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Paid parental leave (to take effect April 1, 2019), flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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John St John // Flickr

New York: A-

Points awarded: 105

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Job-protected family and medical leave, job-protected medical leave for pregnancy disability, paid sick days, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Job-protected family and medical leave, job-protected medical leave for pregnancy disability, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Joe Parks // Wikimedia Commons

California: A-

Points awarded: 110

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Job-protected family leave, unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Job-protected family and medical leave, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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David Merrett // Wikicommons

New Jersey: A-

Points awarded: 115

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Paid family and medical leave, job-protected family leave, job-protected parental leave, job-protected medical leave for pregnancy disability, paid sick days, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Paid family and medical leave, job-protected family, parental, and pregnancy disability leave, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Reading Tom // Flickr

Rhode Island: A-

Points awarded: 125

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Job-paid maternity leave, flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Pixabay

Washington: A-

Points awarded: 135

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Paid sick days, unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Flexible use of sick time, unemployment insurance modernization

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Sebastian Bass // Flickr

District of Columbia: A

Points awarded: 155

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: Unemployment insurance modernization
—State workers: Job-protected family and medical leave, unemployment insurance modernization

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Ryan Harvey // Flickr

Massachusetts: A

Points awarded: 160

Additional protections provided beyond the FMLA:
—Private sector workers: None
—State workers: Flexible use of sick time

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