2023 Update on National Caregiving Laws 

Excerpted from AARP Newsletter 

Though the federal government does not require private employers to offer paid family leave — the Family and Medical Leave Act allows up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually—while some states have enacted legislation to create mandatory family leave insurance programs to provide money for caregivers and new parents. 

Why it Matters [Statistics from Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and U.S. Census] 

  • 50 million people in the United States provided unpaid care to older or disabled adults.  
  • 70,000 people join the ranks of family caregivers every day. 
  • On average, caregivers devoted nearly 24 hours a week to caregiving.  
  • 3 of every 5 caregivers balance work with their responsibilities. 
  • Less than a fourth of U.S. workers had access to employer-provided paid family leave in 2021. 


Action in State Legislatures
Such numbers have pushed state and federal lawmakers to look at providing paid leave for caregiving and other family responsibilities. As of February 2023, 14 states have enacted special legislation to address caregiving workers. 

  • 7-states and the District of Columbia had government-mandated family leave insurance programs in effect.  
  • 4-states have enacted similar measures that will take effect this year or in the next few years. 
  • 3-states have established voluntary family leave programs where employers can choose whether to participate. Payroll taxes cover the cost of this insurance with contributions drawn from employees, employers or both.  
  • All state programs enacted to date provide paid time off to care for a family member with a serious health condition or to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child. 
  • Some programs cover paid leave for workers coping with their own illness; certain situations arising from a family member’s military deployment; or domestic violence, harassment or sexual assault. 


Who Gets the “Caregiving” Coverage? 

Where a program covers care for parents, grandparents, children and siblings, it generally includes step, in-law, adoptive and legal relationships. Some states exempt very small companies and certain types of employers, such as tribal entities or religious organizations, or those with their own state-approved family leave programs. The amount of time off and which family members you can take leave to care for varies from state to state.  


Caregiving Legislation in 3 Pacific Northwest States 


Effective date: Benefits begin Sept. 3, 2023. Employers and employees began paying into the system on Jan. 1, 2023. 

Maximum benefit: 100 % of the average weekly wage, which is $1,224.82 in 2023. 

How it works: Workers who have been with a company for at least 180 days will be able to take up to 12 weeks a year to care for a family member — defined as any person related by blood or “who is connected to you and has a family relationship” — with a serious health condition. Companies with fewer than 25 employees are not required to provide paid family leave, but they may be eligible for state grants if they opt to do so. 





Effective date: In effect 

Maximum benefit: $1,620 a week 

How it works: California was the first state to enact paid family leave, launching its program in 2004. Employees can receive 60 % to 70 % of their weekly earnings, up to the maximum benefit for up to eight weeks within any 12-month period, to care for an ill spouse, registered domestic partner, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild or sibling. 


Effective date: In effect 

Maximum benefit: $1,427 a week 

How it works: Workers can receive up to 90 % of their weekly pay, up to the maximum, for up to 12 weeks a year to care for a seriously ill spouse, domestic partner, parent, in-law, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling or “someone who has an expectation to rely on you for care.” 


Cardinal Services is Monitoring Caregiving Labor Laws 

We will continue to communicate any changes in the labor laws that will impact your business and employees! We will contact you immediately if your business needs to take action. If you have any questions on this subject, call our HR experts at 1.800.342.4742.