States with Laws That Supersede FMLA
You read about the federal Family Medical Leave Act in Chapter 12. Eleven states must abide by their own provisions that supersede FMLA because they are more generous on behalf of the employee. These states are California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C.
State laws change often. If your state isn't one that currently has laws that supersede FMLA, don't assume that this will always be the case. Check for updates at least once a year. Attending local labor-law update seminars is a reliable way to find out about changes before they take place.
California and Oregon have family leave and disability laws that add to the number of weeks a woman can take off work with job protection as allowed by FMLA. Washington, D.C., has its own disability law that increases time off, too. Therefore, in some cases, a pregnant woman can take more than the twelve weeks off work granted by FMLA.
Here are some of the most common areas of FMLA that may be overruled by more generous state regulations:
The criteria for the company to qualify for state-law compliance. The number of employees may be lower than the requirement for FMLA.
Whether or not leave may be taken intermittently throughout the qualifying period. This means that it may not have to be taken all at once.
Leave is allowed annually each year to take the child to medical and dental checkups and for the parent to attend school functions.
How long the employer must continue to pay their portion of the employee's insurance benefits.
The amount of time the employee must be employed and how many hours worked in order to be eligible for protected leave.
Who does not qualify for leave beyond the disability period due to the nature and status of the job.
To find out if your state has any regulations that overrule FMLA regulations, visit the Department of Labor Web site at