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Paid Leave

Many small businesses are like families. So it’s not surprising most small business owners do everything they can to take care of their employees, who are often not only their biggest assets, but also their friends.

Providing the level of benefits big businesses offer to their employees isn’t always in the cards for small firms, however; benefits like paid leave being one of them. Federal law states businesses with 50 or more employees are required to provide unpaid leave to employees, but some states have programs in place to provide paid family leave through employee-paid payroll taxes. Other states have unpaid leave laws more expansive than the federal law.

Learn about these laws and any obligation you may have.

Federal Family Medical Leave Act

The Family Medical Leave Act provides employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12 month period to care for a newborn, adopted or foster child, to care for a family member, or to attend to the employee’s own serious medical health condition. The law only applies to employers with 50 or more employees. The law also allows states to set standards that are more expansive than the federal law and many states have chosen to do so. 

Learn more about the law »

State Paid Family Leave Laws

California, Rhode Island and New Jersey are the only states with paid family leave laws. Learn more about how these states' laws impact small employers.

California paid family leave law fact sheet »
Rhode Island paid family leave law fact sheet »
Information about New Jersey’s law »

State Paid Sick Days Laws

There is no federal law that requires small businesses to offer paid sick days to their employees. Four states have laws in place requiring businesses to provide paid sick leave. Learn about these states’ laws:
California »
Connecticut »
Massachusetts »
Oregon »

Some cities also have paid sick day laws on the books, and additional states and cities have bills aimed at enacting them. Learn more about which cities have requirements and areas where bills are in process.

Learn more »

State Unpaid Family Leave Laws

Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. have expanded their state laws beyond the requirements in the federal Family Medical Leave Act.

Learn more about these states’ laws »

Policy Recommendations

Some states are working to pass legislation putting paid leave policies in place. A federal bill is in the works, too. Learn more about policies that would help small businesses offer more robust benefit packages to their employees.

Learn more »


opinion-poll-3.jpgOpinion Polling

What do the majority of small business owners think about paid family medical leave policies funded by employees? They think it makes sense for their bottom line. Read the national poll findings.

Small Businesses Support Family Medical Leave »
9/27/2013, Small Business Majority

If you’re a small business owner in New York, learn what your fellow entrepreneurs in the Empire State think about paid leave policies.

New York Small Businesses Support Publicly Administered Family and Medical Leave Insurance Pools »
12/16/2013, Small Business Majority

National small business polling found half of small business owners support paid sick day policies. Learn more about their opinions about various types of benefits.

Small Business Owners Support Paid Sick Days, Majority Offer Benefits to Employees »
6/14/2015, Small Business Majority