McMaster signs law providing paid family leave for state employees

Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 1:42 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2022 at 9:04 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Gov. Henry McMaster held a ceremonial signing Thursday for a bill that provides state employees with paid family leave for the birth, adoption or fostering of a child.

S.11 provides six weeks of paid leave for state employees who give birth and two weeks of paid leave for state employees who are new parents but do not give birth.

For cases of adoption, it provides six weeks for state employees who are primary caregivers and two weeks for state employees who are not primarily responsible for the care of the child.

For state employees who foster a child, it provides two weeks of paid family leave.

“With the signing of this bill, we strengthen our families, our government, and our economy,” McMaster said. “This legislation gives us the ability to better serve South Carolinians by helping us recruit and retain the best and brightest to serve in state government. Most importantly, it strengthens South Carolina’s families - and with stronger families comes a stronger South Carolina.”

“This is a monumental step for so many South Carolina families,” Sen. Katrina Shealy said. “We all know the first months after birth are critical for establishing a firm foundation that will impact maternal and newborn health for decades to come, and paid family leave is so important to making that reality for so many families.”

Rep. Beth Bernstein touted the positive impact to children’s education and the state’s economy.

“Our future workforce is well-nurtured and better equipped because of this legislation,” she said. “Positive, consistent relationships during a child’s early years yield confident individuals who are better equipped for success in school and in life, paving the way for a higher quality workforce and strong economic growth.”

McMaster formally signed the legislation into law on May 13. It goes into effect on October 1.