New Hampshire

Paid Family Leave Laws

Workers in New Hampshire may be entitled to family and medical leave under the Federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA). New Hampshire also offers a Paid Family & Medical Leave Plan (PFML) to state employees. 

If you’re not employed by the State of New Hampshire, coverage is voluntary. There are two ways you may be covered by PFML:

  • Your employer may choose to provide the NH PFML through a group plan.
  • If your employer does not provide a group plan, you may be able to opt in by purchasing coverage during the annual open enrollment period.

Federal Family & Medical Leave (FMLA)

FMLA provides leave to care for a:

  • Child (who is under the age of 18 or incapable of self-care due to a physical or mental disability)
  • Spouse
  • Parent (including a biological, adoptive, foster, or step-parent, or any other person who stood "in loco parentis” but not including a parent-in-law)

FMLA eligibility includes:

  • All public employers and private employers who employ 50 or more workers within 75 miles of the employee’s worksite. 
  • ​​Employees must have worked for a covered employer for at least one year and have worked for that employer for at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months. 

FMLA provisions:

Up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for the following reasons:

  • For incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care, or childbirth
  • To care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care
  • To care for the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition
  • For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform their job
  • For certain needs in connection with a loved one's military deployment
  • If medically necessary, employees caring for a seriously ill loved one may be able to take this time in smaller chunks, spread out over time, rather than all at once

FMLA Protections:

  • Job and Seniority: Upon return from FMLA leave, nearly all employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. Rare exceptions to this rule are explained here
  • Benefits: During FMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee’s health coverage and continue paying any share of their health insurance premium under any “group health plan” on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work.
  • FMLA rights: An employer can’t punish an employee in any way for using their FMLA rights and can’t interfere with the employees ability to use their rights under the law.

How to apply for FMLA:

  • Notify your employer of your need for leave. You'll need to get your loved one's health care provider to certify their health condition and need for care. Your employer will then provide you with notices and forms to fill out and return to them. 
  • If you know in advance when your leave will start, tell your employer at least 30 days before that date. If you can’t do so or don’t know in advance, tell your employer as soon as possible.

Detailed information about Federal FMLA, visit the US Department of Labor website

But first, check out New Hampshire’s paid leave program below.

NH Paid Family & Medical Leave Plan (PFML)

Except for state employees, NH PFML is a voluntary program. If the employer chooses to acquire a group policy, depending on the employer’s specific arrangements, employees may  automatically be covered through that policy, or they may be given the opportunity to decide whether to enroll. If the employer does not have a group policy, employees may be able to opt in to coverage by purchasing coverage during the annual open enrollment period.

If you’re covered through this voluntary program…

The NH PFML Plan provides leave to care for a:

  • Child (biological, adoptive, foster, step-child, legal ward, or child of a person standing “in loco parentis” who is under 18 years of age or 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability)
  • Child's spouse or domestic partner
  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Parent (biological, adoptive, foster, or stepparent, or legal guardian of the worker or the worker’s spouse or domestic partner)
  • Grandparent (biological, adoptive, foster, or step-grandparent)

The NH PFML Plan provisions:

Depending on plan plan, an employee may be eligible for up to 6-weeks or 12-weeks of wage replacement benefits:

  • To care for their serious health condition(s) when insured disability coverage doesn’t apply, including childbirth
  • To bond with a child due to birth, adoption, or fostering
  • To care for a family member with a serious health condition(s)
  • To care for a qualifying military service member
  • To address a qualifying need arising from military deployment or service

NH PFML Plan Benefit Amount

  • 60% of the employee’s weekly wages, up to the Social Security wage cap 

NH PFML Plan Protections:

  • Job & seniority: NH PFML does not offer job protection. However, job protection may be provided through other laws such as the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

How to Purchase NH PFML Individual Plan Coverage:

As of January 30, 2024, open enrollment is closed for this year. Check back on the NH PFML website for more information on how to enroll in the future and for the most current information about New Hampshire family leave policies. 

The information on this page should not be considered legal advice. Other protections may apply in your specific situation. 

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