Tennessee will become the tenth state to offer paid leave to state employees. On January 7, 2020, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed an Executive Order that will provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave for state employees to care for their children, family members, family members on active military duty, and for their own serious health condition. This comes on the heels of federal legislation passed in December 2019 granting federal government employees 12 weeks of paid parental leave beginning October 1, 2020.
Neither the Tennessee legislation nor the new federal law covers private employees, though many activists see this as part of the growing trend in support of paid leave legislation that covers all employees in the U.S.
The new Tennessee policy will take effect on March 1, 2020 and will provide paid leave at 100% of the employee’s regular salary. What’s most encouraging for supporters of paid family leave is that this trend is also taking place in red states led by Republican governors.
Eight other states have paid family laws that cover both state and private sector employees. This contrasts with the rest of the U.S. workforce where only 17% of employees receive paid family leave. Democratic lawmakers in Tennessee see this as an opportunity to continue to push for paid leave for all private sector employees as well.
It’s clear that the enactment of this law and similar laws across the country make it more likely than ever that paid leave for all employees may be a reality in the near future.
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Information provided on this blog is intended for general educational use. It is not intended to provide legal advice. ReedGroup does not provide legal services. Consult an attorney for legal advice on this or any other topic.