This isYour Victory

Passing Paid Parental Leave for State Employees

More Progress

As one of WREN’s top priorities in the 2021-2022 session, paid parental leave for state employees built on WREN’s legislative successes of the Lactation Support Act and Pregnancy Accommodations Act to support pregnant and parenting people in the workplace. The bill received overwhelming bipartisan support throughout its legislative journey and was signed by the Governor immediately after passage.

The Issue

Paid family leave is crucial to supporting working families’ economic security, improving gender equity in the workplace, and improving recruitment and retention of our state employees. Without paid leave, parents face the impossible choice of choosing between their financial well-being, and the well-being of a new child.  No one should have to risk their job or face financial loss while welcoming a child into their family.

The Action

As a leading gender justice organization in South Carolina, WREN worked with the bill sponsors Senator Jackson and Representative Bernstein to build support for the legislation from broad range of partners, legislators, and the Governor. Testimony from state employees like Robert Davis and Beth Moore shined a light on how crucial the policy is to support our state workforce and hundreds of state employees contacted their legislator over the course of the session in support of the policy. South Carolina is only one of three southern states to guarantee paid parental leave for state employees.

The Result

Beginning October 1, 2022 state employees will be entitled to the following-

  • For the birth of a child the policy provides:
    • 6 weeks of leave for the employee who gives birth
    • 2 weeks of leave for employee who do not give birth but is a new parent
  • For the adoption of a child the policy provides:
    • 6 weeks of leave for employees who are the primary caregivers of the child
    • 2 weeks of leave for employees who are not primarily responsible for the care of the child
  • When fostering a child the policy provides:
    • 2 weeks of leave for employees who foster
      • Foster parent may request and receive approval for parental leave in non-consecutive one-week time periods
What's Next

State employees are a significant and crucial part of South Carolina’s workforce.

Going forward, we will work to expand the paid leave to benefit even more of South Carolina’s workers.


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