Center for American Progress

RELEASE: A Guide to Workplace Leave Laws in the United States in 2024
Press Release

RELEASE: A Guide to Workplace Leave Laws in the United States in 2024

Washington D.C. — Currently in the United States, federal law does not guarantee workers a single paid day off, and often, many are not even entitled to unpaid time off. The latest fact sheets in a series by the Center for American Progress explains the major types of laws that give workers rights in relation to workplace leave and the state of paid leave in 2024. 

This series looks at the current state of paid sick leave, paid time off, and paid family and medical leave in 2024 as well as what actions Congress can take to improve the Family and Medical Leave Act. 

While there is no federal guarantee, most workers in the United States have access to some form of paid leave, but the parameters vary substantially and depend on state laws that determine what paid leave guarantees workers can expect. For example, Maine, Nevada, and Illinois are the only states that have passed laws giving covered workers the right to earn and use paid time off that can be used for any reason. For paid sick time, though 15 states and Washington, D.C., have passed paid sick time laws, nearly 1 in 4 private sector workers still do not have access to a single paid sick day. For more extended paid family and medical leaves, the gaps are even greater. This series reviews in-depth the status of paid leave across the nation, highlights states and localities with strong paid leave laws, and details what actions can be taken to strengthen paid leave for all workers. 

“While some states have made significant progress on paid leave, there is still lots of work to do to ensure all workers have access to the paid leave they need. At the state and federal levels, elected officials should pass paid leave laws and strengthen existing laws, so that no worker has to risk losing their paycheck or their job to take time off for themselves or a loved one,” said Molly Weston Williamson, senior fellow at CAP and author of the series. 

Read the series here: “A Guide to Workplace Leave Laws in the United States” by Molly Weston Williamson

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sarah Nadeau at snadeau@americanprogress.org

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