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Macon-Bibb official pushes for paid maternity, paternity leave

A Macon-Bibb County commissioner is sponsoring a resolution that would provide paid maternity and paternity leave.
A Macon-Bibb County commissioner is sponsoring a resolution that would provide paid maternity and paternity leave. Getty Images

Macon-Bibb County government employees could soon have paid time off to take care of their newborn child.

Commissioner Virgil Watkins is proposing a maternity and paternity leave resolution that will be on Tuesday’s committee meetings agenda. The resolution calls for up to four weeks of paid time off for mothers and one week for fathers.

Watkins’ resolution would also provide up to one week of paid leave following the adoption of a child. The resolution is similar to a measure approved by the Warner Robins City Council in March.

Currently, Macon-Bibb employees can take unpaid parental leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act. Watkins said since salaries are already budgeted, then the cost for maternity or paternity leave should be minimal.

An employee must have worked with Macon-Bibb for at least one year before being eligible for the paid parental leave, according to Watkins’ resolution.

Typically, an employee that’s worked with Macon-Bibb for awhile has enough accrued vacation or sick time to cover maternity or paternity leave, Watkins said earlier this month.

“The problem you run into is when you’re a young mother and might only be working with us two years and have limited vacation,” he said.

For more on this story, return to macon.com and read Tuesday’s Telegraph.

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