Tennessee to offer paid family leave to state employees

Governor Bill Lee / Source: (WVLT)
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Governor Bill Lee announced Tennessee will soon provide paid family leave for state employees.

Gov. Lee signed an Executive Order Tuesday afternoon that directed the Tennessee Department of Human Resources to issue the new policy on March 1

“Strong families make for strong communities, and I am proud that Tennessee will lead the nation in supporting our employees,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “This is an impactful investment in the state workforce and will allow us to continue to attract and retain the best workforce possible.”

According to reports, 69 percent of full-time working Americans believe that receiving paid parental leave is important when looking for a job, but only 17 percent of employees across the U.S. have access to it.

Officials said the new policy aims to reduce turnover rates for high performing employees and reducing long-term state health care costs.

The policy will apply to all state executive branch employees subject to the TEAM Act and will not include a mandate on private business.

Tennessee becomes the tenth state employer to offer benefits to parents in addition to the federal government.

Qualifying events will be consistent with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The new policy will go into effect on March 1 to provide sufficient time for the Department of Human Resources to draft policy guidance, train managers, and ensure accurate tracking of time and leave.

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