Approximately 33,000 UNC system employees may gain access to paid parental leave if the UNC Board of Governors approves a proposed new policy at its September 19-20 meeting.
In an August 26 News & Observer article by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan, North Carolina State University employee Jane Harrison said the UNC system would be able to attract and retain more talented employees with paid parental leave. She said a leave policy would offer the following message: “If you’re a parent, you belong here, too. We support you.”
The UNC system includes NC State, University of North Carolina, Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, Western Carolina University, Winston-Salem State University and the NC School of Science and Mathematics.
If the board approves the policy, UNC System employees will join a growing list of state agencies that now offers paid parental leave to its employees.
The most recent was the North Carolina Judicial Branch, where a paid parental leave policy went into effect September 1. That new policy provides up to eight weeks of fully paid parental leave following a birth, adoption or foster care placement for eligible full-time permanent or time-limited Judicial Branch employees. It also provides prorated paid parental leave for part-time permanent or time-limited part-time employees working 20 or more hours per week.
In a statement to Judicial Branch employees, Interim Director McKinley Wooten, Jr. said, Our Judicial Branch is strong because of the dedicated people who work every day to serve the public in every courthouse across North Carolina. We believe this policy is one way that we can honor that dedication, encourage strong families and emphasize the importance of a full, balanced life.”