Paid Family & Medical Leave in the Private Sector
The decision to offer PFML to U.S. workers largely falls to employers currently. So what are companies doing?
Recent Momentum in Paid Family & Medical Leave
- Over 60 employers introduced or enhanced an existing U.S. PFML policy in 2015 or 2016
- Though the highest coverage and greatest momentum are in "expected" industries such as tech and finance, recent announcements have also come from less-expected industries, such as hospitality and retail
Resources on Recent PFML Policy Announcements
Click below to view a list of (and policy details on) U.S. paid parental leave benefits announced in 2015 or 2016.
For the National Partnership for Women & Families' overview of new company policies, click here.
Trend Towards Policies with Broader Coverage
PFML policies vary significantly among companies, but recent policies are trending towards broader and more inclusive employee coverage.
- More paid parental leave policies are becoming gender neutral
- This does not count the added 6-8 weeks that birth mothers may take for physical recovery from childbirth
- Many new policies offer PFML to all employees, including both salaried and hourly workers
- Some companies are beginning to offer paid leave to care for ill family members (though this remains less common than parental leave)
Differences in PFML Coverage Remain
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide access to paid family leave was approximately 14% in 2016, up from 13% in 2015. Still, current coverage in the U.S. is not equitable across employee groups.
Coverage is expected to continue rising as more companies create PFML policies. Also, with multiple new policies covering lower wage workers, national coverage may become more equitable.