Gov. Cooper grants paid parental leave for state employees under his authority

May 24, 2019

State employee families got welcome news on Thursday, as Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 95 that grants paid parental leave to mothers and fathers who welcome a new child into their home.

Executive Order 95 provides up to eight weeks of paid parental leave for mothers who give birth and four weeks to their partners or anyone who has an adoption, foster care or other legal placement of a child.

The order takes effect Sept. 1, 2019, and pertains only to state employees who work at a cabinet agency under the Governor’s authority – the departments of Administration, Commerce, Environmental Quality, Health and Human Services, Information Technology, Natural and Cultural Resources, Military and Veteran Affairs, Public Safety, Revenue and Transportation.

In his press conference Thursday, Gov. Cooper urged all other branches of state government, including school systems, community college, universities and the departments outside of his control, to adopt the policy as well. To include all agencies, the legislature would need to pass House Bill 987, which has yet to move out of committee in the House.

By federal law, all workers who give birth are guaranteed up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from their jobs without fear of losing that position. Because of the order, state employees will no longer need to use their banked sick or vacation leave in this time to make sure they get paid.

SEANC Executive Director Robert Broome applauded the order as a needed step to ensure that the state remains competitive in hiring the best and brightest.

“We applaud the governor for making this progressive move to ensure that the state is a competitive player in the job market,” Broome said. “Welcoming a new member into your family is a great blessing, and we are grateful for this opportunity to allow state employees to adjust to their new normal. This executive order shows that North Carolina cares about our workforce and the needed balance between work and family life.”

For more information on the order, click here. Employees with specific questions are urged to speak with their agency’s human resources department.