Some pushing for paid parental leave for state employees

Birmingham recently passed 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all city employees
Push to expand paid parental leave
Push to expand paid parental leave
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 7:30 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - If you have had a kid then you know how demanding the weeks that follow the birth are. City employees now get 12 weeks of paid parental leave to deal with the challenges but state employees don’t have that same privilege.

It is a concept growing in popularity with Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina all passing some form of paid parental leave over the last few years, and the City of Birmingham is the latest to do it.

“We are excited about the progress and that this is really a growing trend across the region. We do hope that the state is paying attention. That other cities in Alabama will look at this example. That private employers will look at this example,” said A Better Balance Policy Manager, Feroza Freeland.

State employees can take leave for the birth of a child, but it isn’t paid. If you want to be paid you have to use your sick days.

“They have been fortunate to not have COVID, to not have a bad case of influenza, and they got 20 or 25 days. Well that is a month after the baby is born and then after that they are out of leave,” said Mac McArthur.

McArthur is the Executive Director of the Alabama State Employees Association and believes the state should pass paid parental leave.

“It is something that we really need to take a step to do now. The state of Alabama has lost about 5% of its workforce over the last four years. It is hugely important that we reach out to these younger folks and make these jobs more attractive.”

McArthur believes the state has made progress in the fight for paid parental leave. He points to the bills proposed by former Senator Jones as proof.

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