Vermont

Paid Family Leave Laws

There are several family leave laws that Vermont workers can take advantage of:

  • Federal Family & Medical Leave (FMLA)
  • Vermont Family & Medical Leave (VT FML)
  • Vermont Short-Term Family Leave (VT STFL)
  • Vermont Family & Medical Leave Insurance Plan (VT FMLI)

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 Vermont’s other leave programs below.


VT Family & Medical Leave (VT FML)

VT FML expands on the Federal FMLA law with:

  • A broader definition of “family member”
  • Eligibility for more residents

VT FML provides leave to care for a:

  • Child
  • Spouse
  • Civil union partner
  • Parent 
  • Parent-in-law

VT FML eligibility includes:

  • Employers with at least 10 employees who are employed on average 30 hours per week must provide time off to eligible employees for pregnancy, childbirth, or adoption of a child up to 16 years old.
  • Employers with at least 15 employees who are employed on average 30 hours per week must provide time off to eligible employees for the employee's own serious illness or to care for the employee's seriously ill family member. 
  • To be an eligible employee, you must have worked for a covered employer for an average of at least 30 hours per week and have been employed by that employer for at least a year. 

VT FML provisions:

  • Up to 12 weeks unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12 month period

VT FML Protections:

  • Job and seniority: in general, the employer is required to reinstate the employee to the same or a comparable job
  • Benefits: While on VT FML, the employee is entitled to continue their health insurance at the same terms they have while working
  • VT FML Rights: The employer cannot punish the employee in any way for using their VT FML rights or interfere with their ability to do so.
     

Vermont Short-Term Family Leave (VT STFL)

VT STFL expands on the Federal FMLA law with:

  • A broader definition of “family member”
  • Eligibility for more residents

VT STFL provides leave to care for a:

  • Child
  • Spouse
  • Civil union partner
  • Parent 
  • Parent-in-law

VT STFL eligibility includes:

  • Employers with at least 15 employees who are employed on average 30 hours per week are covered by VT STFL
  • To be an eligible employee, you must have worked for a covered employer for an average of at least 30 hours per week and have been employed by that employer for at least a year

VT STFL provisions:

  • Up to 24 hours of leave in a 12-month period, with no more than four hours taken in any 30-day period, for the employee to:some text
    • Attend or accompany a family member to routine medical or dental appointments
    • Accompany a parent, spouse, or parent-in-law to appointments for professional services related to their care and well-being
    • Respond to a medical emergency involving a family member.

Vermont Family & Medical Leave Insurance Plan (VT FMLI)

Beginning in July 2024, most Vermont employers will be able to opt in to a voluntary state paid leave insurance program. Beginning in July 2025, Vermont employees not covered through an employer program and self-employed people will be able to individually purchase coverage. You can find more information about the program here.

How to apply for family leave in Vermont:

Notify your employer of your need for leave. They will provide you with or direct you to the proper forms to fill out and submit. 

Different deadlines may apply depending on which legal protections apply.


This PDF provides more details about Vermont family leave policies. 

Note: The state, county, or city where you live may also offer short term (a few days per year) paid sick leave or paid time off that you may be able to use for caregiving. You can find short term leave information for jurisdictions in the state of Vermont here.

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

RubyWell lowers the cost of caring

Save money on monthly prescriptions

Discover unused insurance benefits

Save on utilities

Find the lowest prices on quality supplies

Be among the first to try our tools & resources