Most North Carolina’s public university system employees will soon be eligible to receive paid time off to care for a newborn or newly adopted child.
Late last month, the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors approved a new paid family leave policy that will give eight weeks of time off to birth mothers and four weeks of time off to new fathers or other non-birth parents. The board oversees North Carolina’s 17-campus public university system, including NC State University and the UNC schools.
The new policy, which will go into effect in 2020, will add paid leave as an option for 30,000 employees statewide. Those employees previously were required to take either sick or vacation leave if they wanted paid leave to stay home with their baby.
The UNC System joins nine state departments and agencies that have voluntarily added paid family leave after Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order providing the new benefit to employees of departments, agencies and boards that he oversees. Approximately 59,000 employees will receive leave thanks to Cooper’s order and departments’ voluntary buy in. Other agencies that voluntarily agreed to provide paid parental leave to eligible employees:
▪ Office of Administrative Hearings.
▪ Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
▪ Office of the Commissioner of Banks.
▪ Office of the Secretary of State.
▪ Office of the State Auditor.
▪ Office of the State Controller.
▪ Department of Public Instruction.
▪ Department of Justice
▪ Administrative Office of the Courts, which operates as an independent branch of state government.
Agencies that have decided not to offer leave include:
▪ Office of the State Treasurer.
▪ Department of Labor
In a committee meeting prior to the full vote, UNC system Board of Governors members said they heard that not having this benefit served as an impediment to recruiting and retaining young talent.
“We have young talent, and they’re starting families, and so we just think it will be an important tool for retaining talent and bringing them to our system,” said Wendy Murphy, a board of governors member and chairwoman of the personnel and tenure committee, according to a September 20 WUNC story.