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Leave Laws by State and Municipality

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

There are few federal laws requiring a private employer to provide employees with a leave of absence. However, most states and some municipalities provide employees with more leave rights than required by federal law. The following chart provides a brief overview of the major leave requirements in each jurisdiction and to which employers they apply. Unique laws are listed under Additional Leave Protections.

The chart does not include:

  • Workers' compensation laws;
  • Laws under which leave may be required as an accommodation (e.g., related to pregnancy, disability, religion, domestic violence);
  • Laws that require leave based on another leave type being offered (e.g., leave for adoptive parents is required if leave for biological parents is offered); or
  • Laws covering only state/public employees or public contractors/subcontractors (such as the Executive Order requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to provide paid sick leave, effective January 1, 2017).

Paid sick and safe leave is trending at the local level. The chart includes the states and major municipalities that have passed such laws. For more information on state and municipal paid sick leave laws, please see Paid Sick Leave by State and Municipality.

Also included on this chart are paid family leave laws, some of which provide leave and reinstatement rights, while others provide only wage replacement benefits when an employee takes leave for a qualifying reason. For more information on state and municipal paid family leave laws, please see Paid Family Leave Requirements by State and Municipality.

Interestingly, numerous states have enacted so-called preemption laws that prohibit municipalities from adopting regulations that expand on state or federal leave requirements. However, existing municipal laws are often grandfathered in.

States that have no requirements regarding a specific leave type are marked N/A in the chart. In the absence of state requirements, federal rules may apply.