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State PFL Programs

I was excited to hear of Amanda Isaac's Capstone Paper Absenteeism: Employees' Rights in California as my own state, New Mexico was debating Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) during the 2023 state legislative session. Amanda discussed California Paid Family Leave (PFL) which provides benefit payments to people who need to take time off work to:

  • Care for a seriously ill family member.

  • Bond with a new child.

  • Participate in a qualifying event because of a family member’s military deployment.

The California PFL was designed to be a component of California’s State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. Similar to California's PFL, New Mexico's Paid Family and Medical Leave bill sought to provide up to 12 weeks of paid time off for employees who request it for a serious medical condition, caring for a family member with a serious medical condition or welcoming a new child. While the bill died in committee during the 2023 legislative session, it was proposed as a state-run program and managed by the Department of Workforce Solutions.

While New Mexico's law does not impact my current work, I have accepted a transfer to the State of Washington, starting my new position after graduation from Tulane's Master of Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law program. Washington's PFL program was enacted in 2017 and is similar to California's program, discussed by Amanda, as that it is a social insurance program. I look forward to reading Amanda's paper to understand the history and best practices of PFL programs.

State PFL Programs © 2023 by Tara Spracklen is licensed underCC BY 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

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