Last November when Colorado voters approved a proposition to create a paid family and medical leave program, the Centennial state became the ninth in the country (as well as Washington, D.C.) to provide this type of arrangement for employees.

It’s a trend that started well before the pandemic and the current health crisis may only accelerate the continued adoption of plans that guarantee workers can take paid time off when they’re sick or need to care for a loved one. In fact, at the federal, state, and local levels, programs have been put into place to provide paid leave for pandemic-related reasons.

Who Can Provide Paid Leave?

Paid family and medical leave programs often include all employers of all sizes and their workers—including families who have hired someone to work in their home, like a nanny. That means it’s important for household employers to comply with the paid sick leave laws in their states, which could require contributions from the family and/or their workers.

How Can May Nanny Get Paid Leave?

Of course, for household employees to take advantage of paid leave, they need to be paid legally by their employer. If they’re “off the books,” they will not be able to take advantage of these benefits. It can feel complicated, but a household payroll provider like GTM Payroll Services makes payroll deductions and can remit these funds to the state for you.

What Are the Current Paid Leave Laws?

Pandemic-Related Paid Leave

The American Rescue Plan

The American Rescue Plan extends voluntary pandemic-related paid sick and family leave through September 30, 2021, with the dollar-for-dollar tax credit remaining in effect. The law also resets the amount of time available to employees. If they previously took their allotted leave, families could still provide additional time off.

State and Local COVID-19 Laws

While the American Rescue Plan continues voluntary paid leave, states and cities may require it of household employers. Download a guide on state and local paid sick leave laws to get updated on your obligations.

Additional Paid Leave Laws

Here’s an overview of some of the existing state paid leave regulations. Be sure to check your state and city labor department websites for the specific rules you need to follow.


Workers can take up to six weeks of partial pay to care for a seriously ill family member, bond with a new child, or participate in a family member’s military deployment to a foreign country. Learn more about California’s Paid Family Leave. In addition, all employees who work 30 or more days within a year must be given at least 24 hours of paid sick leave annually.

Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco are Californian cities that also have their own paid sick leave laws.


Colorado paid leave is funded by contributions from employees (employers with less than 10 workers are exempt from employer share). Remittances begin on January 1, 2023 with paid leave available to employees on January 1, 2024. Learn more about Colorado’s paid family and medical leave.


Employees can start taking benefits under the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program beginning in January 2022 for life events like the worker’s own serious health concern; care for a child after birth, adoption, or foster placement; and care to a seriously ill or injured family member; among other reasons. Employers need to make payroll deductions and remit their worker’s contributions to the state on their behalf. Learn more about Connecticut’s PFML program.


Beginning this year, employees are eligible to use paid family and medical leave benefits—including for their own or a family member’s serious medical condition; bonding with a newborn, adopted, or foster-care child; and other reasons related to military service. While families are exempt from the employer portion of PFML contributions, they must still remit their employee’s share to the state. Learn more about Massachusetts’ PFML program.

New Jersey

Under the state’s paid sick leave law, workers can take time off for their own care or that of a family member. The benefits can also be taken if the employee or a family member is a victim of domestic or sexual violence. Learn more about New Jersey’s paid sick leave.

New York

Beginning this year, employees could start using paid or unpaid sick leave for certain designated purposes under the state’s paid sick leave law. Time off can be used for treatment, care, preventative care, and diagnosis for an employee’s or employee’s family member’s illness, injury, or health condition.

Families in New York City should review the details of the Paid Safe and Sick Time Act, which requires sick leave to be paid for household employees. Learn more about New York’s paid sick leave for household employees.

New York also has a paid family leave (PFL) program that provides time off to workers for reasons like bonding with a newborn, adopted or foster-care child; care for a seriously ill family member; and addressing important needs related to a family member’s military service. Learn more about New York PFL.


Workers can take paid leave for their own serious health condition, care for a family member, bond with a new child, or spend time with a family member preparing for military service overseas. As an employer, you’re required to collect and remit your employee’s premiums. There’s no employer contribution if you have less than 50 workers. Learn more about Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave.

Washington, D.C.

Employees in our nation’s capital can use benefits under the Universal Paid Leave Act to bond with a new child; care for an ill family member; and take leave for their own medical care. Employers fund the program through a payroll tax on their employee’s gross wages. Workers do not contribute to paid leave. Learn more about Washington, D.C.’s Universal Paid Leave.

When Leave is Required But Can Be Unpaid

Rhode Island

Employers with fewer than 18 workers are required to offer sick and safe leave time, although it does not need to be paid. Employees can take up to 40 hours of leave in a year. Time off can be taken for their own or a family member’s illness or injury or to deal with the impact of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Learn more about Rhode Island’s Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act.


Sick time is protected by unpaid leave laws if the employer has less than 10 employees (or less than six if you’re in Portland). A worker can take up to 40 hours of leave in a year to care for themselves or family members. Learn more about Oregon’s sick time.


All of this truly can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to navigate this alone. Our friends at GTM Payroll Services are the experts when it comes to properly managing in-home care for your family. To make things easier, Sittercity families get a free setup! All backed by a team of household employment experts available by phone, email, and chat. Sign up online or call (800) 929-9213 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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