Federal Programs

Federal Programs

The United States does not have a national paid family and medical leave program: however, both Republican and Democratic leaders have agreed that paid leave benefits are important to the American people. 

The federal PFML tax credit, including the IRS Form 8994 to claim the credit, is still available and will expire December 31, 2025. Click here to learn more. 

Paid family and medical leaves remain a top concern for our federally elected officials in the Senate and House: In October 2023, the US Senate Committee on Finance conducted a hearing, Exploring Paid Leave: Policy, Practice, and Impact on the Workforce, and a recording of the hearing can be found here.

In January 2023, the bipartisan Paid Family Leave Working Group was launched in the House, to explore options for a federal paid family leave program. Supported by the Bipartisan Policy Center and other organizations, the working group’s mission is to bring more paid leave to more Americans through a federal program. This group completed a six-part briefing with policy and business experts to understand existing PFML programs and gain insight:

  1. History of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): On February 7, 2023, the former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and former Republican HELP Committee Staffer Stephanie Monroe joined the working group to discuss the current unpaid FML law. Both of their work from 30 years ago influenced the FMLA law we know today.
  2. Lessons Learned from Successful State-Level Paid Leave Efforts: On March 28, 2023, the working group was briefed by PFML program design and implementation experts from Colorado, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Washington, and the District of Columbia. Each of these states have different disability/PFML programs.
  3. Hearing from Private Insurance Industry: On April 18, 2023, MetLife, and other insurance carriers visited Capitol Hill to discuss the role they might play in implementing a federal paid leave program.
  4. Convening Small Business Leaders: On May 11, 2023, 10+ small business owners shared their viewpoints on how a federal paid leave program could impact their bottom line (i.e. staffing and operating costs, etc.)
  5. Large Employers and Trade Association Collaboration: On July 18, 2023, the working group hosted large companies and trade associations to discuss their challenges with the current patchwork of state leaves, employer sponsored paid leave policies, and how a federal framework might operate.
  6. Intersection of Caregiving and Paid Leave: On September 28, 2023, the working group talked about how related issues like childcare and senior care affect the paid leave landscape.

As of April 2, 2024

Federal Programs in Force

Provides paid family leave benefits for:

  • Up to 12 weeks for child bonding and
  • Up to 2 weeks for child bereavement.

FEPLA provides paid parental leave in connection with the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child for employees covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provisions applicable to certain federal civilian employees. Benefits started October 1, 2020, and applies to leave taken in connection with a birth or placement of a new child. For more information regarding the Federal employees Paid Parental Leave for Federal Employees see Bulletin #249. FY21.

Parental Bereavement leave, effective January 1, 2022. Employees become eligible for two weeks of paid bereavement leave if a child—including adopted, foster and stepchildren, as well as an adult child with “a mental or physical disability”—dies. The death essentially starts a one-year entitlement, during which employees may elect to take a period of up to two weeks of paid leave. For more information regarding the click on this (Parental Bereavement Leave | CHCOC) link.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year and allows for the extension of their group health benefits to be maintained during the leave.

FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. These employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:  

  • For the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
  • For placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
  • To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
  • To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Whether an employee has worked the minimum 1,250 hours of service is determined according to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) principles for determining compensable hours or work.

What is Paid Family & Medical Leave?

The information presented on this website is not legal advice and should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice. It is not permissible for MetLife or its employees or agents to give legal advice. The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and does not purport to be complete or to cover every situation. You must consult with your own legal advisors to determine how the specific state’s Paid Family and Medical/Disability Leave law(s) will affect you.