Governor Cooper Announces Paid Parental Leave Policy

Eligible State Employees to Receive Paid Parental Leave to Support Family Health, Stronger Economy

RALEIGH, N.C. (News Release) — To support healthy families and strengthen our economy, Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 95, extending paid parental leave to state employees in cabinet agencies.

“This new paid parental leave policy will give state employees more time to recover from childbirth and give their newborns the care and attention they need,” Gov. Cooper said. “It will help reduce gender inequality in our workplaces, and it will help our state attract and retain a strong workforce.”

Effective September 1, 2019, state employees of any North Carolina department, agency, board or commission under the oversight of the governor will receive eight weeks of paid parental leave after giving birth or four weeks of paid parental leave after a partner gives birth or to bond with and care for a child in the event of adoption, foster care or other legal placement of a child. Parents will receive 100 percent of their regular pay while on parental leave.

Full-time permanent, probationary or time-limited employees in the Cabinet agencies who have been continuously employed by the State of North Carolina for at least twelve months prior to their leave and are eligible for Family and Medical Leave can qualify for paid parental leave. Part-time employees are eligible to receive paid parental leave on a prorated basis. According to the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources, about 56,000 state employees will be eligible for paid parental leave under the new policy.

Paid parental leave policies promote wellness by providing time parents need to recover from childbirth and bond with a new baby, to attend regular medical checkups and to manage family caregiving responsibilities. Research suggests children whose parents have access to paid parental leave are more likely to attend regular medical checkups and have fewer health problems. When paid parental leave is available, women who give birth are less likely to experience postpartum depression and men are more likely to be involved fathers.

Paid parental leave is also good for the economy and fiscally responsible. Paid parental leave can help families care for children without risking financial insecurity and can reduce demands on the social safety net by reducing the likelihood that working parents must apply for taxpayer-funded benefits. Private sector employers have found that paid parental leave can improve employee retention, productivity and morale.

View Executive Order No. 95 HERE.