What’s it like to be a working parent in your state? (National Partnership)

This much is true: California is still the best place for workers who are also parents. (Move West, young families.)

In the third edition of the National Partnership for Women and Families report,  which was first done in 2005 and then in 2012, the partnership found there has been more progress when it comes to policies that help working parents.

California earned the highest grade, receiving an A-, while 11 states earned a B, eight states earned a C and 14 receiving a D. The remaining 17 states got a big, fat F because they have no enacted any policies to help new parents in the workforce.

Locally, Washington D.C. is actually doing pretty well. It earned a B+ because it provides paid sick days, paid medical leave for pregnancy and paid family leave. Private sector workers in the city are better off with pregnancy disability and family leave than they are under the federal Family Medical Leave Act. A good (and necessary) perk in D.C.: Nursing mothers are entitled to a break time to express breast milk, and employers must make efforts to provide a room for doing so, other than a bathroom.

Maryland scored a C. Beginning in Oct. 2014, full time workers in companies with 15 or more employees are entitles up to six weeks of leave for the birth or adoption of a child. But employers are allowed to deny the leave or not reinstate the employee.

Virginia got itself a D. Oh, Virginia. The law doesn’t provide private sector employees with anything beyond federal rights or protections.

So in many states, it’s clear that working and being a parent is more than difficult. If a mother wants or needs to stay home with her child for a couple weeks after birth, it could spell financial ruin. That’s not even considering a father’s desire to be home with a child for more than a couple hours a day.


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