17 Worst States for Working Moms: Is Yours on the List?

Judy Dutton | Jul 10, 2014 Being a Mom

Working moms have it rough—and a new report reveals just how rough by highlighting the worst states for working mothers. In their third annual review of state laws for working parents, the survey "Expecting Better" by the National Partnership for Women & Families doled out grades for each state, and let's just say most won't make the honor roll anytime soon.

Only one state, California, fell in the "A" range with an A-. I was somewhat happy to see that my own state, New York, was one of nine states that earned a B.

But 17 states got Fs due to their complete disregard for parents' desire to balance work and family. Curious if your state flunked and why? Here are the 17 losers ...

Did your state make the "worst" list?


Image via © Roy McMahon/Corbis

  • Arizona


    Image via Leonardo Stabile/Flickr

    While 37 states showed improvements in rights for working parents from the prior year, Arizona actually got worse. The state repealed a regulation granting state workers 180 days of pregnancy disability leave. 

  • Idaho


    Image via Edward Stojakovic/Flickr

    The Potato State treats working parents poorly: neither private nor public working parents have any rights or protections beyond federal law.

  • Alabama


    Image via Phil Whitehouse/Flickr

    Sweet home Alabama isn't so sweet to working moms. It does not provide any rights or protections beyond federal law.

  • Wyoming


    Image © Bryan Mullennix/Corbis

    This state got an "F" for work/life balance because it does not provide parental leave rights beyond what is mandated by the federal government.

  • Utah


    Image ©iStock.com/JacobH

    Utah, like many other states, offers working parents nothing beyond the bare minimum required by the federal Family Medical Leave Act. That amounts to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period to care for a newborn or other family member, which isn't much. 

  • Missouri


    Image ©iStock.com/rzdeb

    At the very least, state workers in Missouri who earn sick time are entitled to use it for the care of a child, stepchild, or other relative or household member, or upon the adoption of a child. But that's pretty much it.

  • Oklahoma


    Image ©iStock.com/Pontuse

    Tornados aren't the only thing Oklahoma moms have to worry about. This state does nothing to help working parents with their juggling act beyond federal requirements. 

  • North Dakota


    Image ©iStock.com/MCCAIG

    North Dakotan working moms may have it bad, but the good news is state employers are at least required to provide them with up to 80 hours of paid leave to care for a child or for pregnancy-related disabilities.

  • South Dakota


    Image ©iStock.com/skibreck

    Mt. Rushmore may be a monument to what makes America great, but its host state's policies for working parents are dismal, with no rights or protections beyond the minimum federal requirements. 

  • Nevada


    The one bright spot in this state's bleak provisions for working moms: state workers are entitled to use up to 120 hours of their accrued sick time per year to care for a child or stepchild. 

  • Nebraska


    Image ©iStock.com/Feverpitched

    Nebraska gets a well-deserved "F" because it does nada beyond federally mandated protections for new parents.

  • Delaware


    Image via Madeleine Holland/Flickr

    While this state does not expand upon federal rights for working parents, there is one small bright side. Since Delaware law now recognizes same-sex marriages, same-sex married couples in the state have access to federal leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. 

  • Georgia


    Image via benketaro/Flickr

    Things are not so peachy for working parents in Georgia, which offers no protections for parents beyond the federal minimums.

  • Kansas


    Image via Dustin Gaffke/Flickr

    Kansas isn't just a flat state; it falls flat for working moms, offering no rights beyond federal requirements. 

  • Michigan


    Image via Marty Hogan/Flickr

    The Great Lakes State isn't so great for working parents, with no protections past federal law, earning a big fat "F."

  • Mississippi


    Image via Patrick Feller/Flickr

    Mississippi misses the boat for working moms, offering no rights beyond the federal minimums.

  • South Carolina


    Image ©iStock.com/DenisTangneyJr

    In spite of its failing grade, state workers who earn sick time are entitled to use up to 10 days to care for a child. At least that's something. 


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