While the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and similar states laws provide employees with time off to care for a new child or sick family member, the leave is typically unpaid. (To learn more about unpaid family leave, see Taking Family and Medical Leave.) And although some employers voluntarily provide paid time off for parenting and caregiving, most do not.
To address this gap in family leave law, five states—California, Rhode Island, Washington, New Jersey, and New York—and the District of Columbia have laws that provide paid family leave for employees who need time off to care for sick or disabled family members or a new child. Payments are less than the employee's usual salary and come from a state insurance fund, not directly from employers.