The NC State Board of Education recently approved new rules for paid parental leave for the state’s 200,000 public school employees, according to WRAL.
Approved at the August board of education meeting, the rules provide eight weeks of paid parental leave for full-time employees who give birth after July 1. Part-time employees will be given prorated amounts of leave.
Under the recent abortion ban passed by Republican lawmakers, paid parental leave expanded to every state government employee this fiscal year; before now, only agencies directed by the governor – and those that chose to – offered paid parental leave.
The policy passed by the State Board of Education is only temporary and intended to provide guidance as soon as possible while state agencies develop their permanent rules later this fiscal year. Charter schools are not required to offer paid parental leave, but can choose to.
The temporary rules look like this, according to WRAL:
- Leave is only available once during a 12-month period.
- Leave is only available for biological parents of children born on July 1, 2023, or later, and to others who adopted or otherwise became a guardian after July 1, 2023. That’s a change from the first draft of the temporary rule presented in July. Back then, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction officials said lawmakers intended for the benefit to begin only for children born on July 1, 2023, even those who were adopted or taken into a foster home. Officials said this week the intent is to allow people taking in a child after July 1 to also have the benefit, even if the child was born before then.
- When possible, employees must provide advance notice of their intent to take leave.
- Employees can only receive the benefit if they have been employed for 12 consecutive months in the same school system or state agency.
- Time-limited employees, such as those whose positions are grant-funded, will be eligible for paid parental leave, so long as they have already worked for 12 months at their agency.
- Paid parental leave is a benefit on top of any annual or other leave a state employee may also wish to take. Many employees currently use annual leave or other paid leave to continue receiving a paycheck while on parental leave.
- Employers won’t be required to pay out leave if employment is terminated during leave.