Georgia House passes effort to double parental leave for state employees, sending it to Senate

ATLANTA — An expansion of paid parental leave for Georgia state employees passed the state’s House of Representatives Thursday, setting it up for review in the Georgia Senate.

According to a release from House Speaker Jon Burns, the passage of the bill moves the legislature one step closer to help the state employees who “work tirelessly to serve our communities,” and show them that they are valued and supported as working families across Georgia.

“The House first passed this initiative in 2021 to create paid parental leave for our state workers, and, now, we are taking another step so that these employees can spend even more time with their families after having or adopting a child,” according to Burns.

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The legislation in question is House Bill 1010. Under the bill’s provisions, Georgia’s recently created paid parental leave would grow from three weeks to six weeks for state employees and Georgia teachers.

Burns said it was “crucial that we support them in both their professional and personal lives,” saying the expanded parental leave would show the state’s commitment to ensuring healthy work-life balances and recognizing the importance of family.

“This would provide a low-cost, high-value benefit to help recruit and retain employees and tangibly demonstrates our respect and support for them at a most significant and life-changing time in their lives,” Speaker Pro Tem Jones, the man who sponsored the bill, said.

Summarized by the speaker’s office, current state law allows 120 hours, or three weeks, of paid parental leave following the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child in in a state employee or teacher’s home.

If HB 1010 passes in the Senate and moves to Gov. Brian Kemp for approval, and he signs it into law, that time would be doubled.

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