On Feb. 16, N.C. House Democrats introduced House Bill 141, which would provide paid parental leave for state employees.
If passed, the bill would provide up to eight weeks of paid parental leave for full-time state employees and up to four weeks for part-time state employees — in addition to any paid leave already available.
Qualifying circumstances within the paid parental leave bill include caring for a newborn or caring for a newly adopted child, including time for adoption placement. To be eligible, the parent would have to have been employed by the state for 12 months.
If passed, the General Fund would allocate $10 million for the 2023 to 2024 fiscal year to pay for the new parental leave benefit.
As of Wednesday, the bill is in the state House rules committee. If it makes it past the committee, it will be voted on by the N.C. House.
H.B. 141 seeks to build on Executive Order No. 95, which was signed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on May 23, 2019. The executive order provides eight weeks of paid parental leave for the birth of a child and four weeks of paid parental leave for other situations involving the adoption or foster placement of a child.
This executive order, however, only applies to employees of the governor's office and state agencies that operate directly under Cooper. Other state offices were not required to participate.
N.C. Rep. Carolyn Logan (D-Mecklenburg) is one of the bill's primary sponsors. She said when Cooper signed the executive order, she tried to introduce a bill similar to H.B. 141, but it did not go anywhere.
N.C. Reps. Amber Baker (D-Forsyth), Sarah Crawford (D-Wake) and Shelly Willingham (D-Bertie, Edgecombe, Martin) are the other primary bill sponsors.