These States Have the Best Paid Family Leave Policies, Report Says

Despite the established benefits for babies, parents and the economy, just 13 states have passed paid family leave policies. See which states are leading family first here.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Updated July 11, 2023
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Image: patyakastocks82 | Shutterstock

Whether you are recovering from delivery, dealing with postpartum depression or bonding with baby, paid family leave can be a true game-changer for parents. Studies show that having the time, support, and financial stability to handle those first few months after baby’s arrival could save nearly 1,000 babies’ lives each year and often means the difference between going into debt or saving up for baby’s education and flourishing upon your return to work or struggling to keep your head above water.

Despite the manifold benefits of paid family leave, the US doesn’t have a federal paid parental leave policy in place. Currently, only 13 states and Washington D.C. have passed laws that require companies to have some form of paid family leave.

Of these 13 states, the amount of money provided and weeks off can vary greatly. To get a better idea of what states offer the best paid family leave,, a financial consulting organization, compared state laws, weekly maximum wages, paid weeks off and other important metrics. Here’s what they found.

The Top 10 Best States for Paid Family Leave

  1. Oregon
  2. Washington
  3. New York
  4. New Hampshire
  5. California
  6. Colorado
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Delaware
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Rhode Island

So why did these states snag the top ten spots? A further look into the report shows that Oregon, the number one state, has one of the newest paid family leave policies in the country. The mandatory policy went into effect in January 2023 and offers 12 weeks of paid leave, earning 100 percent of an individual’s average weekly wage (AWW) up to 65 percent of the state’s average weekly wage (SAWW) of $1,224.82. After that, individuals earn 50 percent of their AWW for income over 65 percent the SAWW ($796.13) up to a maximum $1,446 weekly benefit.

In second place, Washington workers receive similar benefits to Oregon, including mandatory employer participation and up to 12 weeks of paid time off, but income benefits are slightly reduced, with a maximum weekly benefit of $1,327. Washington state law also excludes job protections, though most workers are eligible for federal protections and unpaid time off through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Rounding out the top three, New York provides similar benefits to Oregon, offering up to 12 weeks of paid time off and job protections, albeit with slightly lower weekly pay. In New York, workers may receive 67 percent of their average weekly wage, capped at a maximum benefit of $1,068.36 per week.

It’s no secret that a lot more needs to be done to help ease the burden on working parents, but for some states, this is a start. To view the full report, visit

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