Galloway pushes to extend parental leave for government employees

6 months 2 days 9 hours ago Tuesday, January 07 2020 Jan 7, 2020 Tuesday, January 07, 2020 12:30:00 PM CST January 07, 2020 in News
By: Jacob Lang, KOMU 8 Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY - State Auditor Nicole Galloway is pushing for more family-friendly policies for government workers.

Galloway sent a letter to Governor Parson Monday asking for him to sign an executive order that would extend paid parental leave for state employees from six weeks to 12 weeks after the birth or adoption of a child.

"I have three children. I am a working mom," Galloway said. "I believe that the state should implement policies that can help retain and attract a skilled work force and allow folks to balance their work and their family lives."

Galloway, who is also running for governor this year, says this would mimic an order signed by President Trump in December for federal employees.

"If this is something that President Trump and Congress can agree on, and Governor Parson can sign this executive order without a task force, without a legislative committee, he can do it without delay," Galloway said.

Galloway said she, as an independent elected official, has already extended a 12-week policy to her own employees, but most of the state's workers are not in independent entities.

"90% of the government work force falls under the Governor's administration," Galloway said. "That's why it's so important that he signs this policy."

Former Governor Eric Greitens extended the state's paid leave policy to six weeks back in 2017. Galloway said that some of the state's bigger private employers have extended paid family leave for their employees.

Now, Galloway said the state needs to catch up.

"Part of executive leadership is leading by example," Galloway said. "That's why I have implemented family-friendly policies in my office and am requesting Governor Parson to do the same."

KOMU 8 has reached out to Governor Parson's office and is waiting to hear back.

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