Georgia House pushes anew for paid parental leave for state workers

NBC29 File.
NBC29 File.(NBC29)
Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 8:50 PM EST
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ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s House of Representatives is trying again to give paid parental leave to state workers, teachers and university employees.

The House voted 155-2 on Tuesday to pass House Bill 146, which would offer three weeks of paid parental leave any time to those nearly 250,000 workers after the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child.

“We feel like this is a positive step forward for our state,” Rep. Houston Gaines, an Athens Republican, told the House on Tuesday

The measure mirrors a bill that sailed through the House last year and failed in the Senate in the final hours of the session. House Speaker David Ralston, a Blue Ridge Republican, has made the measure one of his priorities.

Currently, state employees in Georgia are eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid leave as required by federal law.

Both mothers and fathers could use the leave. An employee would qualify after six months of continuous employment with a government agency, college or school. The measure does not cover leave to care for sick family members or to take care of personal medical problems. It also does not cover nongovernmental employers

Gaines notes that President Donald Trump had supported paid parental leave for federal employees and had called for Congress to mandate that private employers offer paid parental leave.

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