Raising Expectations, a report released today by the National Partnership for Women & Families, gives Florida a grade of “C-” based on its policies that allow working people to meet their personal or family caregiving responsibilities. The new report analyzes state laws and regulations governing paid and unpaid leave in the United States and assigns grades to 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The new report finds that, 25 years after the federal government enacted the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), half of the country has failed to meaningfully expand on FMLA’s baseline protection of unpaid leave. These states are also failing to adopt policies to safeguard workers’ economic security when personal or family health needs arise or when a new child is born or adopted. It warns that lack of adequate paid leave will become a bigger problem in the future with people having children later in life and our nation aging rapidly.
The report’s grades are based on how well state laws help people manage their work, health and care needs. States that guarantee workers access to paid or unpaid workplace leave beyond FMLA are likely to receive higher grades. It finds:
- Not a single state earns a grade of “A+.”
- Only six states – California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Washington state – plus the District of Columbia earn a grade of “A” or “A-.”
- Just six states receive grades in the “B” range, with Connecticut and Oregon each receiving a “B+.”
- Thirteen states receive grades in the “C” range.
- Fully half the states (25) earn grades of “D” (16 states) or “F” (nine states) because they are doing little or nothing to offer additional protections to working families. The nine failing states are Alabama, Idaho, Michigan*, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.