Map Reveals the Best and Worst States for Working Parents

September 15th 2016

Tricia Tongco

Being a parent in America is rough.

As ATTN: has previously reported, the United States has the worst family leave policies of any developed country.

And the states vary in their capacity to help expecting and new parents, according to a new report from the National Partnership for Women and Families. The National Partnership assigned grades to each state, awarding points "based on the protections provided to private sector and state employees."

Since most employees work in the private sector, "the point system favors laws that provide protection and leave to private sector employees." Here are the following criteria for the private sector:

  • Paid family leave
  • Paid medical/pregnancy disability leave
  • Paid sick days
  • Job-protected family leave
  • Job-protected leave for pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition
  • Flexible use of sick time
  • Nursing mothers’ workplace right
  • Pregnancy accommodations

The Worst States

Worst states for parents

Nearly one-fourth of states received an "F" grade for "failing to enact a single law or program to support families before and after the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child," the report found: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

Half of the states didn't fare much better, receiving grades in the "C+" to "D-" range.


The Best States

Best states for working parents

Only two states and the District of Columbia merited "A" grade: California ("A"), New York ("A-"), and D.C. ("A-").

The National Partnership made the following point clear in its study:

"[Every] state has room for improvement — even California, the only state to earn a grade of “A,” can improve its existing laws, including by adding job protection to its paid family leave law."

Why Family Leave Matters

Better family leave policies and laws are key to responding to the urgent needs and persistent struggles of working families, the National Partnership said: "If the United States is serious about reducing economic and gender inequalities and increasing its economic strength, new standards that better address the challenges working families face are needed — and needed now."

You can see how dire the situation is by taking a look at this map based on grades by the National Partnership's study:

states map for working parents


Read the full National Partnership report here.

[h/t Refinery29]