Governor approves policy allowing paid parental leave for state employees
BATON ROUGE - Governor John Bel Edwards announced Thursday that his administration is formally expanding the state's time-off policy to include parental leave for government workers starting in the new year.
The new policy, which takes effect January 2024, will grant up to 240 hours of paid leave within the first 12 weeks following a child's birth or placement via adoption. The policy would cover nearly 70,000 state employees.
"If you've got a new baby, whether that's a foster child or an adopted child or otherwise, men and women get six weeks of paid leave," Governor John Bel Edwards said.
Louisiana joins several others states with similar policies. Officials celebrated the long term economic benefits for Louisiana, like employee retention for new parents. State Civil Service Director Byron Decoteau Jr., praised the policy as a recruitment tool.
"I think you have seen today, through the announcement, the positive result that these programs have provided for the development of a child and decreasing infant mortality rates. the employee can focus on bonding with their children," Decoteau said.
Governor Edwards said he hopes the state policy will prompt private employers in the state to follow in the state's footsteps.
"I would hope more private employers would do this going forward - whether or not the state ever mandates it," Edwards said.
Read the full announcement from the State Civil Service Board below.
Louisiana State Civil Service, along with Gov. John Bel Edwards, is proud to announce that Paid Parental Leave will be available to eligible state employees starting in January 2024.
“Paid Parental Leave is good for the Louisiana government and will be an invaluable tool for recruitment and retention. It comes to us at a time when we are striving to attract a new generation of workers who increasingly value work-life balance when selecting an employer,” stated Byron P. Decoteau, Jr., State Civil Service Director.
Paid Parental Leave, as codified in Civil Service Rule 11.36, was approved by the State Civil Service Commission on September 6, and signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards today at Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge in a celebratory signing.
The rule and accompanying executive order will allow eligible state employees who are the legal, foster, or adoptive parents of a child to take up to 240 hours of paid leave within the first 12 weeks following the child’s birth or placement. A new parent will have up to 240 hours to focus on bonding with their child and building their family without having the financial worries that result from unpaid leave.
“Louisiana joins state governments across the nation that have not only recognized the value of Paid Parental Leave as a recruitment and retention tool but also recognized the value of Paid Parental Leave for employees and their families,” said Decoteau.
If you have questions or need additional information, the State Civil Service website has been updated with the new parental leave rule and a dedicated resource page to assist in the implementation of the rule.
The State Civil Service Commission is a seven-member body that has final authority over the administration of the State Civil Service system. The Commission serves as an impartial review board that enacts and adjudicates State Civil Service Rules to regulate state personnel activities and hears appeals from state employees and agencies. Commission meetings and hearings are held monthly and are open to the public.