Leading Moms Group Applauds Gov. Cooper for Executive Order on Paid Leave and for ‘Powerful Commitment to Moms and Families’
RALEIGH -- MomsRising, the national online and on-the-ground organization of more than 1 million mothers and their families, including 47,000 in North Carolina, today applauded Gov. Roy Cooper for granting state workers paid parental leave. The executive order, issued this afternoon, will provide state employees of any North Carolina department, agency, board or commission under the oversight of the Governor with eight weeks of paid parental leave after giving birth or four weeks of paid parental leave after a partner gives birth or to bond with and care for a child in the event of adoption, foster care or other legal placement. Parents will receive 100 percent of their regular pay while on parental leave.
“We welcome Gov. Cooper’s new paid parental leave measure for state employees as an important step on the road to ensuring that all workers in North Carolina can access the paid family and medical leave they need to cover the range of caregiving and self-care needs they are likely to face during their working years,” said Beth Messersmith, Senior North Carolina Campaign Director for MomsRising, who spoke at the signing ceremony. “This executive order brings North Carolina closer to the time when families will no longer be forced to risk their financial security when serious illness strikes, a family member needs care, or a baby arrives. And it will make a meaningful and significant difference in the lives of the families that will benefit.”
“Moms across this state are enormously grateful for Gov. Cooper’s powerful commitment to mothers and families, which is truly impressive,” Messersmith added. “In addition to this executive order, he has banned the use of salary history in state agency hiring and required pregnancy accommodations for all state employees. Taken together, these measures will significantly improve the lives of state employees and their families, while setting an example for the rest of the state to follow. MomsRising recognizes Gov. Cooper as the powerful trailblazer he is.”
Messersmith added that MomsRising will encourage other governors across the country to follow Gov. Cooper’s lead on making workplaces more family friendly. “Thank you, Gov. Cooper, for making our state stronger and healthier, supporting families and businesses, strengthening our economy, and making this a new day for moms in North Carolina,” she said.
Right now in the United States, only 17 percent of people have access to paid family leave through their employer and fewer than two in five have personal medical leave provided through an employer. Similarly, a recent study by the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy found that just 12 percent of North Carolina’s workforce benefits from paid family leave through an employer. The 26-year-old Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows some employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave, covers about 60 percent of North Carolina employees, but the same Duke study found that in North Carolina 64 percent of eligible working people cannot afford to take unpaid medical leave. The United States is one of the only countries in the world that doesn't offer paid leave to new mothers.