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Best states for maternity leave

  • Best States for maternity leave
    1/ 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

  • Alabama: F
    2/ 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

  • Idaho: F
    3/ 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

  • Michigan: F
    4/ 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

  • Mississippi: F
    5/ 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

  • Nebraska: F
    6/ 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

  • North Dakota: F
    7/ 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

  • South Dakota: F
    8/ 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

  • Utah: F
    9/ 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

  • Wyoming: F
    10/ Pixabay

    Wyoming: F

    Points awarded: 0

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

  • Nevada: D-
    11/ 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

  • New Mexico: D-
    12/ 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

  • Oklahoma: D-
    13/ 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

  • South Carolina : D-
    14/ 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

  • Tennessee : D-
    15/ Sixflashphoto // Wikicommons

    Tennessee : D-

    Points awarded: 5

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

  • Georgia: D
    16/ 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

  • Indiana: D
    17/ 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

  • Kentucky: D
    18/ 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

  • Missouri: D
    19/ 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

  • Delaware: D+
    20/ 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

  • Iowa: D+
    21/ 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

  • Louisiana: D+
    22/ 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

  • New Hampshire: D+
    23/ 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

  • Pennsylvania: D+
    24/ 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

  • Texas: D+
    25/ 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

  • West Virginia: D+
    26/ 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

  • Florida: C-
    27/ 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

  • Kansas: C-
    28/ 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

  • Montana: C-
    29/ Pixabay

    Montana: C-

    Points awarded: 20

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

  • North Carolina: C-
    30/ 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

  • Ohio: C-
    31/ Robbt // Flickr

    Ohio: C-

    Points awarded: 20

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

  • Virginia: C-
    32/ 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

  • Alaska: C
    33/ 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

  • Arkansas: C
    34/ 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

  • Colorado: C
    35/ 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

  • Arizona: C
    36/ 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

  • Minnesota: C+
    37/ 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

  • Illinois: C+
    38/ 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

  • Maryland: C+
    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

  • Maine: B-
    40/ 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

  • Wisconsin: B-
    41/ Pixabay

    Wisconsin: B-

    Points awarded: 55

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

  • Vermont: B
    42/ 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

  • Hawaii: B
    43/ 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

  • Oregon: B+
    44/ 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

  • Connecticut: B+
    45/ 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

  • New York: A-
    46/ 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

  • California: A-
    47/ 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

  • New Jersey: A-
    48/ 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

  • Rhode Island: A-
    49/ 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

  • Washington: A-
    50/ 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

  • District of Columbia: A
    51/ 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

  • Massachusetts: A
    52/ 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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