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Leon County Commission Approves Parental Leave Policy

MGN Online

Leon County Commissioners recently approved a paid parental leave policy for county employees.

County Commissioner Kristin Dozier says the policy strives to be more inclusive by offering 6 weeks of paid leave to mothers and fathers of newborns and newly-adopted children.

“I love the fact that we’re honoring both parents, adoption. This is not just about a birth parent,” Dozier says.

Dozier wants to take another look at the policy to make sure it includes same-sex couples and consecutive leave, so parents can stagger the time they take off.

Meanwhile, County Commissioner Bryan Desloge says that the policy will help improve the Leon County workplace:

“We want to become, as we’ve talked about in our strategic plan, kind of an employer of choice. We want to be the kind of place that people come to work to, and want to come to work to and don’t want to leave. And nothing has the impact as having a child does in your life”

Desloge says employers making new parents’ lives a little easier goes a long way. He wants Leon County to lead by example, with other businesses and organizations in the community following suit to remain competitive.

Desloge says “working couples who have children the family medical leave act allows them 12 weeks unpaid time off, very few of them have the ability at that point in their career to take that much unpaid time.”

Previously, new parents could return to work with little to no accumulated leave, which could later lead them to work while sick or take their sick child to daycare. Employees can save their sick days and annual leave under the new policy.

Families First Manager at Children First, Jack Baker, says parental leave can help couples transition into families with a little more stability.  

“It is such a time for bonding with the new baby, and to give both parents that opportunity to have that wealth of time and with one another,” he says. Baker says this bonding time is vital for children at any age to become a part of a new family.