Paid leave laws: What’s new in 2022?

The United States Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives eligible employees entitlement to unpaid family and medical leave. However, the government does not require a national paid family and medical leave program. 

While the federal laws only dictate unpaid leave instead of a national paid leave rule, many states have their own paid leave programs in place. In 2022, 4 states (as well as Washington DC) are either adding paid leave, modifying existing leave laws, or making changes to unpaid leave legislation. 

Take a look at the list of states that changed paid leave benefits or made modifications to unpaid leave laws. You can also head to your state labor law guide to learn more about other employment laws in your area, like minimum wage changes for 2022

Check out our article on 2021 paid leave law changes to learn which states added new legislation last year. 

New paid family leave laws by state (2022)


Starting January 1, 2022, employers of all sizes are required to provide access to paid sick leave. In 2021, the law only applied to employers with at least 16 workers. Employers must allow workers to accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employees can accrue up to a maximum of 48 hours of leave per year. 

Any remaining hours may be carried over to the next year. The leave may be used for: 

  • Mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition
  • Need for a medical diagnosis, treatment, or preventative medical care
  • The care of a family member for the reasons listed above
  • Absences due to domestic abuse, sexual assault or harassment 
  • Closure of school or childcare facility due to a public health emergency 


While Connecticut’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program has been in place since January 2021, employees will be able to apply for paid family leave benefits beginning January 1, 2022. Take a look at our 2021 paid leave law changes article to learn more. 

Washington DC

The recent Universal Paid Leave Emergency Amendment Act of 2021 modified Washington DC’s paid leave law with changes that went into effect October 1, 2021. Eligible employees may now take 2 weeks of paid prenatal leave for: 

  • Routine and specialty appointments, exams, and treatments associated with a pregnancy
  • Pregnancy complication treatment
  • Required bedrest 
  • Prenatal physical therapy 

The amendment also adds medical care related to a miscarriage to the list of qualifying medical events for which paid leave can be taken. 

Washington DC also extended paid leave durations. Employees with approved claims or leave dates that begin on or after September 26, 2021, through September 30, 2022, can now take 6 weeks of job-protected leave. 

New unpaid leave laws by state (2022)


Amendments to the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CTFMLA) will go into effect on January 1, 2022. Pursuant to the changes, employers with at least 1 worker must provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave over a 12-month period. 

The law allows for up to 16 weeks of military caregiver leave, and an additional 2 weeks of leave for pregnancy complications. 


An amendment to the California Family Rights Act expands the definition of family member to include parents-in-law. The change means that employees can take family and medical leave to care for a parent-in-law with a medical condition.


Oregon is expanding its Family Leave Act, which applies to businesses with at least 25 employees: 

  • Employees can take leave during a public health emergency if they worked for at least 30 days and an average of at least 25 hours per week. 
  • Employees who regain employment after a separation within 180 days can take leave. 
  • The amendment removed gendered language from childbirth-related leave, clarifying that any eligible employee may take leave for their own pregnancy or childbirth conditions. 

Need help understanding these labor laws and more? Sign up for Homebase HR Pro today and get live access to certified experts who can answer any questions you may have. 

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