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Kansas offers paid leave to more than 17K state employees

November 23, 2018

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Outgoing Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed an executive order giving paid parental leave to more than 17,000 government employees.

The order signed Wednesday makes all state employees under the governor’s jurisdiction eligible for paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. Primary caregivers will receive six weeks of paid leave, while secondary caregivers will receive three weeks. During the leave, employees will receive 100 percent of their regular salary, The Wichita Eagle reports.

“I think this is an important initiative for all Kansans” Colyer said in a statement. “It shows how important our children are to us and how much we value family here in Kansas.”

The order doesn’t apply to the Legislature or judicial branch. Agencies headed by other elected officials, such as the secretary of state’s office, also aren’t included. With the order, Kansas becomes one of 15 states, including Missouri, to provide paid parental leave to employees.

“I want state employees to have the same type of benefits that you see in private businesses across our state and nation; and I encourage all other statewide elected officials and agencies to adopt comparable policies for their employees,” Colyer said.

Colyer spokeswoman Kara Zeyer said the state’s previous policy allowed employees to use vacation or sick time when taking leave.

The Kansas City-based Women’s Foundation quickly congratulated Colyer on the move, which comes in his final months in office.

“This is great news for state employees, and all Kansans who will benefit from a healthier, stronger and more productive state workforce,” Wendy Doyle, President and CEO of the Women’s Foundation, said in a statement.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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