Lawmakers are considering the merits of Paid Family Leave for state workers in Missouri after a recent study by the Women’s Foundation and the Institute of Public Policy found that paid leave policies offer a number of benefits aside from reducing reliance on public assistance in the year following a child’s birth.
According to initial findings, paid leave can have a positive economic impact for families and had a “positive effect” or “no noticeable effect” on postpartum job retention, productivity, morale, profitability, and turnover. While only four states lead the nation in adoption of paid family leave laws, a review of California’s paid leave program found that in 2013, new fathers represented 30 percent of claims.
According to an article in the Kansas City Star, Missouri state workers are the lowest paid in the nation and legislators are interested in boosting benefits. HB 325, sponsored by Rep. Jay Barnes, would apply to men and women, but not those employed in the private sector. The legislation would allow ten paid workdays for parents following the birth of a child and sets paid family leave apart from other types of leave, not requiring state employees to use other types of leave, such as vacation or sick time, in whole or in part, before being allowed to use paid family leave. The bill, if signed into law, would take effect in August 2017.