Richland County passes paid parental leave for county employees

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Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 12:23 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Richland County has officially become the first local government in the Midlands to offer paid parental leave for county employees.

The motion comes after the Administration and Finance Committee recommended the council on Tuesday, Sept. 26, to approve the Paid Parental Leave Policy for regular part-time and full-time county employees.

Richland County council members passed the motion during Tuesday’s council meeting.

Full-time employees and those who work part-time for more than 30 hours a week are eligible for the policy if they had a new child come into their home. This includes a new birth, a foster child or an adopted child.

County council members were excited about the new policy during Tuesday’s council meeting, which was passed with a unanimous vote.

“I’m really proud of South Carolina for at least leading the way in one area,” said Yvonne McBride, Richland County representative for District 3.

Approval of the paid parental leave policy aligns with Richland County’s strategic plan to establish operational excellence and maintain a highly inclusive work culture with an equity-based experience for all. Eligible staff will receive:

  • Six weeks of paid leave for both parents and co-parents
  • Paid leave for parents experiencing the placement of a foster child 12 months or younger
  • Paid leave for employees who experience a still birth

“We should be extremely proud of Richland County and this Council for supporting our employees in making paid parental leave a reality,” said Jesica Mackey, District 9 Councilwoman and vice chair of Richland County Council.

Mackey added that the policy’s adoption also will bolster the County’s stature as an employer of choice in South Carolina.

“This move will prove highly effective in the County’s ability to recruit and retain employees, which will contribute to our already dynamic workforce,” Mackey said.

Currently, Florence County is the only county administration in South Carolina to have an approved Paid Parental Leave Policy. Charleston County is working to establish the policy.

The policy goes into effect on Monday, Jan. 1.

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