Seventeen states failed. California, of course, came in first, followed by Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey and the District of Columbia. The survey was done by the National Partnership of Women & Families, a group which, in its own words, has “fought for every major policy advance that has helped women and families.” It reviewed state laws that provide benefits beyond federal law to help expecting and new parents take leave during pregnancy and soon after the arrival of a new child. The laws they reviewed included state laws: that provide greater job protection or pay to parents than is provided by the FMLA; that provide “mothers disability leave to prepare for and recover from pregnancy and childbirth”; that require “employer-provided sick, vacation or personal leave to be available for workers to care for a new child or an ill spouse or partner”; that provide reasonable accommodation of physical limitations to pregnant employees; and that provide greater protection than federal law to new mothers to breastfeed newborns.
The survey gave a varying number of points for each of the criteria and awarded each state a letter grade based on its points. California, with 140 points, received the highest grade, an A-. Connecticut (120 pts), Hawaii (110), New Jersey (100) and the District of Columbia (95) were awarded a B+. States with zero points were awarded an “F.” States on this list were: Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.