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How Do D.C., Maryland And Virginia Compare On Family-Friendly Laws?

In the region, D.C. offers the most expansive family-friendly laws.
Christian Glatz: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24092454@N00/12582433/
In the region, D.C. offers the most expansive family-friendly laws.

As NPR is reporting, today President Barack Obama is hosting a daylong summit in Washington to encourage more employers to adopt family-friendly policies like paid maternity leave.

That got us to thinking: Just how do the region's various jurisdictions stack up when it comes to accommodating new families? In 2012, the National Partnership for Women and Families published a report assessing and grading the laws that help new mothers and fathers. California and Connecticut posted perfect grades, and here's what the report had to say about D.C., Maryland and Virginia:

D.C.

Grade:B+

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act requires that certain employers give employees 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during certain medical and family-related events. The city's version of the law is more expansive: It applies to employers with 20 or more employees (federal law applies to those with 50 or more), and adds an additional four weeks, for a total of 16 weeks of protected leave.

D.C. law also allows mothers and fathers to accrue and use paid sick leave; it can be used pregnant women and spouses. The law also protects the right of nursing mothers to pump breast milk during the workday. As part of the 2015 D.C. budget, D.C. government employees will be offered up to six weeks of paid parental leave.

Maryland

Grade: D-

Workers in Maryland are eligible for the 12 weeks of unpaid leave under FMLA. As of Oct. 2013, the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act was amended to "require all employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with a disability caused or contributed to by pregnancy, as long as the accommodation does not impose an undue hardship on the employer's operations," according to Business & Legal Resources. Those accommodations include changing work duties or hours, relocating the employee's work location or providing leave.

Virginia

Grade: D

Like Maryland, Virginia follows FMLA. Additionally, state workers are eligible for up to 125 days of full or partial wage replacement for pregnancy disability or maternity leave through Virginia's short-term disability insurance system. State law also guarantees a woman the right to breastfeed their child on property owned or controlled by the state.

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