Planning to Start a Family? You Might Want to Move to One of These States

paid parental leave
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The United States is home to many great things: Beyoncé and Cheez-Its, to name a few.

But one thing we’re sorely lacking?

Paid parental leave. You probably already know we’re the only developed country without it.

Sure, we have the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows 12 weeks of leave if you’ve worked at a company with 50 or more employees for at least a year.

But that time off is unpaid.

And if you’re on a tight budget, or living paycheck to paycheck, there’s no way you can go three months without any income.

Some states have expanded on FMLA, so where you live can make a difference.

Keep reading to see how your state stacks up.

These States Offer Paid Parental Leave

Fast Company summed up the various policies in the graphic below:

paid leave (graph for within post).jpg

Source: Fast Company

As you can see, only three states offer active paid parental leave programs, while a few more have pending legislation.

(UPDATE: Since this post was published, New York state passed its paid parental leave law; by 2021, it will offer 12 weeks, which is the most in the country.)

Given the fact I want kids someday, maybe I shouldn’t have moved from California to Florida.

Luckily, I work for an awesome company that offers paid parental leave.

But because many people aren’t as fortunate, I think it’s high time the U.S. got on board with national paid parental leave.

Not everyone agrees with me, though…

Do you?

Your Turn: Should the U.S. should require paid parental leave?

Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.