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Paid family leave now available to state workers

Sarah Mueller

Delaware state employees can get 12 weeks of paid family leave starting in April of next year. Gov. Carney signed the bill Saturday.

It allows state workers employed for a least a year to get 12 weeks of paid leave after the birth of a child or adoption of a young child. If both parents are state workers, they each get 12 paid weeks off.

Melanie Ross Levin, the director of Delaware’s Office of Women's Advancement and Advocacy, said it’s a game changer.

“For our state workers, our teachers, our correctional officers, our policemen and women, our social workers, our nurses and all of our exceptional employees, that’s exactly what this bill is," she said. "But also for our future employees and there will be many of them.” Ross Levin said about 41 percent of state workers could retire and collect their pensions in the next five years.

Carney said he hopes paid leave will help attract and retain state employees. It’s expected to cost the state about $4 million next year.

Delaware is the sixth state to offer public workers paid family leave.

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