Updated March 23 at 12:28am

Report: R.I. businesses are good to new fathers


WASHINGTON – Rhode Island ranked 15th out of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia for supporting new fathers in the workplace, according to a report from the National Partnership for Women & Families.

The report - Dads expect better: Top states for new dads – focuses on the states where existing family-friendly leave policies include new fathers.

Rhode Island tied with Tennessee and Kentucky, which also earned 10 points and ranked 15th on the parental advocacy group’s list.

In the Ocean State, private sector workers have access to a slightly longer family leave under state law than under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

Under the Rhode Island family and medical leave law, employees with one year of tenure who work an average of at least 30 hours per week are eligible for up to 13 weeks of leave in a two-year period for parental or family care.

Comparatively, in the District of Columbia, which was rated highest for new fathers in the workplace and earned 70 points, FMLA access was expanded to workers in smaller businesses and those with less time on the job, and it offers longer periods of leave.

Rhode Island was one of 14 states and the District of Columbia to go above and beyond federal FMLA standards for new parents.

The Ocean State is one of only eight states that helps parents stay involved by guaranteeing eligible workers job-protected unpaid leave to attend meetings and activities and their child’s school.

Rhode Island parents in businesses with 50 or more employees may take up to 10 hours away from work each year to attend their child’s school-related activities.

In May, the National Partnership for Women & Families’ last report – Expecting Better: A state-by-state analysis of laws that help new parents – gave the Ocean State a C+, but named it the 11th best place in the U.S. for new parents to work.

To view the full report, visit:www.nationalpartnership.org.


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