Try our Diversity & Inclusion Starter Kit. Sign up for free today

Parental leave policies for employees in different states - how do you make it equitable and cost effective?

Hi there! We currently offer 8-12 weeks of parental leave for our full-time employees in California. We coordinate with the CA state Paid Disability Leave/Paid Family Leave policies to offset some of the cost (~60% of salary for 6-10 weeks of that time) and we cover the other 40% to make the employee’s salary 100% for the duration of the leave period. We are currently expanding to allow for full-time remote work across the US, and want to offer a similar policy (8-12 weeks of parental leave) but am wondering about solutions others have used to offset some of the cost across states?

I know WA and NY also have paid leave policies so am exploring those, and we could consider a nation-wide short term disability policy, but that would only cover birth mothers for the disability portion of the leave (not non-birth mothers or the family leave portion). Would love to hear any creative solutions other companies with employees in multiple states have employed here!

Thanks for posting @irismagoosh and welcome to People Geek Answers.

We recently had another post on parental leave and I’m wondering if @jentilt or @MelissaPezz have anything they can add for you here?

1 Like

Hello @irismagoosh and thank you @DebMavric for sharing this with me! I’m happy to share what we see companies do in this situation.
As you know, Calif. is the most complex (from a pay standpoint) and most generous with paid leave. That being said, that trend is spreading across the US. I’ve attached a nice side by side of each state’s legislation below if helpful.
For companies we work with in your mulit-state situation, we see most of them choose to offer the same benefits across the board, regardless of state legislation. While that does increase the cost to the employer in the short term, we have piles of evidence that shows savings in talent attraction, retention and engagement measures. Being an employer that offers paid leave in a state that hasn’t passed legislation makes those companies truly stand out in a competitive landscape capacity.
I’m sorry I can’t give you more creative workarounds but we’ve seen financial proof time and again that paying this benefit will absolutely not negatively impact your bottom line.
Hope that helps and happy to be a resource further if needed.
State Leave Side by Side


Hi @jentilt! Thank you SO much for the quick response and the state-by-state comparison! This is exactly what I was looking for. :smile: We’re also likely going to offer the same benefit amount across states (just want to make sure we’re being generous enough to meet each state’s requirements and find out if we can offset any of the cost with state-sponsored plans like in CA). I’ll let you know any additional questions.

1 Like

@irismagoosh Happy to help! We can talk parental leave 411 all day long :smile: Feel free to reach out with any questions!


Hi @irismagoosh I help run Pledge Parental Leave ( and on our list of partner companies, we link to their parental leave policies, so you can poke around on there for some examples that might help out! We also have a template policy on there that was written by an employment lawyer for us, and includes the NY Paid Family Leave info, which might be useful for you as well.