Eighteen states got the grade of "F" in a new analysis on workplace rights for new parents. According to a report by the National Partnership for Women & Families called Expecting Better, states in this country still have a long way to go in adequately supporting working moms and dads.

"The birth of a child should be a joyous event for new mothers and fathers -- the beginning of many happy Mother's and Father's Days -- not the cause of health threats and financial hardship or devastation,” National Partnership president Debra L. Ness wrote in a HuffPost blog. "But that's the sad reality for too many families in this country."

When the organization looked at categories such as paid family leave benefits, flexible use of sick days and workplace support for nursing mothers, only California and Connecticut received the grade of "A-." Furthermore, just six states received a "B" or higher.

The U.S. is currently one of the only developed countries that does not guarantee workers paid leave after the arrival of a new baby. New parents are allotted up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, but because of exceptions and regulations, only about half of workers are eligible, the report says.

The new analysis does list improvements that have been made since the first report came out in 2005. For example, from 2006 through 2009, nine states established new laws to make nursing in the workplace more feasible for mothers. But the report also indicates that 18 states only implement what federal law requires and nothing beyond.

"Expecting Better paints a picture of a nation that is failing families -- and it should be a wake-up call for lawmakers at every level," Ness writes.

For methodology and explanations for each state’s ranking, view the full report.

How did your state measure up?


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  • Washington, D.C , 70 Points

    D.C.'s laws include six of seven possible policies to help new fathers and mothers by expanding FMLA access to workers in smaller businesses and those with less time on the job and offering a longer period of FMLA leave. D.C. also enacted the nation's second paid sick leave law.

  • Connecticut, 60 Points

    Connecticut's laws include five of seven possible policies to help new fathers and mothers. Among these policies, Connecticut enacted the nation's first statewide paid sick leave law.

  • New Jersey, 60 Points

    New Jersey created the nation's second family leave insurance program and also provides unpaid, job-protected leave to workers with less time on the job prior to needing leave.

  • California, 55 Points

    California created the nation's first family leave insurance law and permits workers to take unpaid family leave to care for the child of a domestic partner. California also guarantees "flexible" use of sick leave to allow workers who earn sick leave through their employers to use that leave to care for an ill child or spouse.

  • Maine, 45 Points

    Maine's family leave law applies to workers in smaller businesses and allows workers to take leave to care for the child of a domestic partner.

  • Oregon, 45 Points

    Oregon's family leave law applies to workers in smaller businesses and allows workers to take leave to care for the child of a domestic partner.

  • Washington, 45 Points

    Washington has taken the first step toward providing paid leave for new parents, and the state's unpaid family leave law allows workers to take leave to care for the child of a domestic partner. Washington also guarantees "flexible" use of sick leave to allow workers who earn sick leave through their employers to use that leave to care for an ill child or spouse.

  • Hawaii, 35 Points

    Hawaii's family leave law provides unpaid, job-protected leave to workers with less time on the job.

  • Wisconsin, 35 Points

    Wisconsin's family leave law provides unpaid, job-protected leave to workers with less time on the job.

  • Minnesota, 20 Points

    Minnesota's parental leave law provides unpaid, job-protected leave to workers in smaller businesses and those with less time on the job.

  • Vermont, 20 Points

    Vermont's family leave law provides unpaid, job-protected leave to workers in smaller businesses.

  • Maryland, 15 Points

    Maryland law guarantees "flexible" use of sick leave to allow workers who earn sick leave through their employers to use that leave to care for an ill child or spouse.

  • Rhode Island, 10 Points

    Rhode Island's family leave law provides unpaid, job-protected leave to workers with less time on the job.

  • Tennessee, 10 Points

    Tennessee's parental leave law allows new parents to take a longer period of leave than the federal FMLA provides.

  • Kentucky, 10 Points

    Kentucky allows adoptive parents in smaller businesses and with less time on the job to take leave to care for their adopted children.