Kemp Signs Bill to Expand Paid Parental Leave for State Employees and Teachers

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has taken a significant step by signing legislation that will double the annual paid parental leave for state employees and school personnel, including teachers. This move reflects the governor’s commitment to supporting working parents and acknowledging the importance of family bonding time. By increasing the duration of paid parental leave, the state of Georgia aims to provide a more supportive and inclusive work environment for its employees.

State employees were previously able to take three weeks or 120 hours of paid parental leave within a 12-month “rolling” period after the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child. However, House Bill 1010 has now extended the paid leave to six weeks, equivalent to 240 hours.

“We are fully committed to assisting working families throughout Georgia and encouraging a healthy work-life balance to ensure that parents receive the necessary support during significant family events,” declared House Speaker Pro-Tempore Jan Jones, R-Milton, in a statement. “Paid parental leave, which is accessible for the birth of a child or when a child is placed in foster care or adopted, is a vital benefit that empowers employees to prioritize their family obligations without jeopardizing their financial stability.”

According to an email in February, Jones informed The Center Square that the budget director of the state House stated that there was no substantial decrease in revenue, as new parents were already utilizing their vacation or leave to take six weeks or more off.

Employees are now able to utilize the extended leave for various family-related reasons, including the birth of a child, the placement of a child in foster care, or adoption. Additionally, employers are required to inform eligible employees about these enhanced benefits during the hiring process and on an annual basis thereafter.

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