Thanks, Gov. Cooper! On Sunday, More Than 59,000 North Carolina State Employees Become Eligible for Paid Parental Leave
“Sunday marks a milestone in the quest to make North Carolina families more successful and economically secure, to improve our state’s economy, and to reduce gender-based bias in our state. Thanks to the executive order Gov. Cooper issued in May, beginning on Sunday employees of any state department, agency, board or commission under the Governor’s oversight will be eligible for eight weeks of paid parental leave after giving birth. The executive order also grants 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. Leave-takers will receive 100 percent of their regular pay while on parental leave.
“This will make a significant, meaningful difference in the lives of the families that will benefit directly and it brings North Carolina closer to the time when families will no longer be forced to risk their financial security when a baby arrives, serious illness strikes or a family member needs care. We are especially excited that, as we had hoped, Gov. Cooper’s executive order has been a catalyst for others to grant paid leave as well. The Office of Administrative Hearings, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of the Commissioner of Banks, Office of the Secretary of State, Office of the State Auditor, Office of the State Controller, Department of Public Instruction, Department of Justice and the Administrative Office of the Courts will all voluntarily extend this benefit beginning Sunday, September 1. The University of North Carolina (UNC) Board of Governors also is considering a measure that would give some 33,000 UNC System employees paid time off to care for a new child and we expect a decision very soon.
“Moms across this state are so grateful for Gov. Cooper’s impressive, powerful commitment to mothers and families. Thanks, Gov. Cooper!”
NOTE: In the United States today, 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. 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 does not offer paid leave to new mothers.