Govs Get It Done: Democratic Governors Continue to Pass Wide-Sweeping Paid Leave Policies

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak becomes the sixth Democratic governor this year to sign paid leave policies into law

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak became the sixth Democratic governor in 2019 to sign wide-sweeping paid leave policy into law. Nevada’s new law requires all businesses with over 50 employees to guarantee paid leave that can be used for any reason.

As leaders in the national arena continue to talk about the need for family and sick leave policies, Democratic governors are getting things done at the state level.

Gov. Sisolak is just the most recent addition to a growing list of Democratic governors expanding or implementing paid leave policies in their states.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, Maine Gov. Janet Mills, and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards have all signed paid leave policies into law early this year. In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont is expected to sign one of the most generous paid family leave bills in the country in the coming weeks. In New Hampshire, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu excitedly vetoed a paid family leave bill while last year in Vermont, Republican Gov. Phil Scott threatened a repeat of his 2018 veto if a paid leave bill reached his desk.

Read more about the paid leave policies enacted by Democratic governors below:

NEVADA – Gov. SISOLAK:

SB312 requires employers with at least 50 employees to allow workers to earn paid leave for each hour on the job. The minimum amount of leave for a person working 40 hours a week and 52 weeks a year is about 40 hours of sick time.

NEW JERSEY – Gov. MURPHY:

A3975 expands the state’s 10-year-old family leave program by doubling the amount of time workers can take from six weeks to 12 weeks, and increasing the weekly compensation works can receive to 85 percent.

MAINE – Gov. MILLS:  

LD369 requires companies with 10 or more employees to provide an hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of time off a year. The time can be used for any reason and will cover about 85 percent of Maine’s workforce.

NORTH CAROLINA – Gov. COOPER:

Executive Order gives state employees of any North Carolina department, agency, board or commission under the oversight of the governor eight weeks of paid parental leave after giving birth or four weeks of paid parental leave after a partner gives birth or to bond with and care for a child in the event of adoption, foster care or other legal placement of a child. Parents will receive 100 percent of their regular pay while on parental leave.

NEW MEXICO – Gov. LUJAN GRISHAM:

SB123 provides private employees and public employees who have accrued paid sick leave with the opportunity to use that leave for family caregiving.

LOUISIANA – Gov. EDWARDS:

HB625 expands Louisiana’s public school maternity leave for teachers and certain other school employees to include adoption as well. The new law gives public school teachers up to 30 days of paid leave after adopting a child.

CONNECTICUT – Gov. LAMONT:

SB1 amends the state’s current law to give employees and self-employed workers 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new baby, a seriously ill family member or loved one, or one’s own personal health. The last is the most generous in the country. The governor is expected to sign it in the coming weeks.