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Paid parental leave available to state employees, effective today

This is the first time a benefit of this type has been made available to the state government workforce.
(CBS Newspath)
Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 2:57 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Thursday marked the start of a new fiscal year within state government. With that comes a new benefit for nearly 49,000 employees working for the State of Michigan. Paid parental leave for state employees begins today, providing eligible individuals up to 12 weeks of paid leave immediately following birth or adoption of a child.

“Our state employees embody the spirit of public service and they work hard every day to ensure that the 10 million residents across the state are getting the programs and services they need from their state government,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “As someone whose parents both worked in public service and who had both of my daughters while serving in the legislature, I know the type of commitment and dedication and family sacrifice required to get the job done, and I see that same commitment every day from our state workforce, which is why I am so pleased and happy to make this important new benefit available. The birth or adoption of a child requires time and effort at home, and state employees should rest assured that they will be able to take that time when they need it the most without having to worry about their paycheck.”

This is the first time a benefit of this type has been made available to the state government workforce. Under the new policies, a career employee who is currently working, has successfully completed a probationary period during the current employment period and has worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months is eligible for a 12-week paid parental leave for the birth or placement by adoption of a child.

Before beginning a paid parental leave, the employee must give notice of the expected start and end date for the leave. A paid parental leave lasts up to 12 contiguous weeks. The leave begins on the date of the birth or adoption and ends, at most, 84 days later. An employee on paid parental leave may be absent from all regularly scheduled hours under the same conditions that would apply as if on paid sick leave. Paid holidays observed during paid parental leave are recorded as paid holidays and do not extend a 12-week paid parental leave.

Employees will receive their base pay during paid parental leave, and do not draw from their already accrued sick and annual leave before taking a paid parental leave. Sick and annual leave time are accrued as usual during the paid parental leave. Births or adoptions before Oct. 1 do not qualify for paid parental leave.

“With my first child, my time at home after the birth was limited and I feel like I missed some important milestones,” said Kelli Hower, a state employee and Human Resources Specialist with the Michigan Civil Service Commission. “I can’t tell you how much it means to me to be able to have this added benefit and be able to experience those early life moments that I otherwise would have missed out on.”

As part of the new budget now in place for Fiscal Year 2021, no additional temporary layoff days are planned for state employees, with no plans for a reduction in the workforce. The state hiring freeze and spending freeze remain in effect until further notice.

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.

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