Florida: Governor Ron DeSantis Expands Maternity and Family Leave for State Employees
The Floridant/10245373

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ~ Today, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Cabinet approved a new policy that expands maternity and family leave for Florida state employees. This is the most robust paid leave policy for mothers following birth in the Southeastern states.

Governor DeSantis said, "When I became Governor, I made it a priority to champion policies that support families and empower parents. As a father of three, I know how instrumental those first weeks are for new parents and their children." First Lady Casey DeSantis added, "In Florida, we believe family is everything, which is why we are proud to provide much needed maternal and family leave to Florida families."

The new policy covers any new mother or father that has been with the State of Florida as a full-time employee for at least one year. Eligible state employees can receive paid maternity leave for up to seven weeks and parental leave for two weeks, which can be combined to provide nine weeks of paid leave for mothers. The policy also authorizes the use of sick leave to bond with a new child for up to a maximum of 16 weeks (when combined with paid maternity and parental leave) within the first 12 months of the birth or adoption of a child.

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Department of Management Services Secretary Pedro Allende said, "DMS is proud to support Florida's state employees, and this new rule would allow growing families committed to public service the ability to invest in their family during the first months of their baby's life. This rule supports Governor DeSantis' family first focus and enhances DMS' mission of attracting and retaining a highly qualified state workforce."

The Governor and Cabinet also approved rules to allow paid family leave insurance to be offered in the state, providing employers with an option to offer similar benefits through supplemental insurance benefits for their own employees.

The new benefits enable mothers sufficient time to recover after childbirth while allowing both parents time off work without financial worry so they can care for their baby or newly adopted child during those important early months when bonding is essential for social and cognitive development. Paid leave also improves both parental and infant health including physical health and well-being.

Filed Under: Government, State

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