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State Family and Medical Leave and Job-Protection Laws

As discussed in the BPC factsheet, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): The Basics, the federal FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for parental, family caregiver, and medical reasons.

To qualify for FMLA leave, an employee must:

  • Have worked for a company for at least one year,
  • Worked at least 1,250 hours during that year (or approximately 156 days),
  • Live within 75 miles of the workplace, and
  • Work for an employer who employs 50 or more employees for at least 20 weeks during the current or previous year.

States have expanded job protection through a variety of state laws. California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin have adopted family and medical leave laws that either expand the amount of leave available or the definition of covered family members. Many states have also adopted targeted job-protection laws that intersect or complement federal and state family and medical leave laws. This brief describes both types of state laws.

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