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Leon County Approves Six Weeks of Paid Parental Leave to New Parents

Posted on July 11, 2017

Leon County Approves Six Weeks of Paid Parental Leave to New Parents

On Tuesday the Leon County Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted to provide paid parental leave to County employees. Both men and women County employees will be eligible to receive six weeks of paid leave to care for and bond with a newborn or newly-adopted child as an employee benefit.

The staff analysis noted actual cost projections for the benefit are difficult to forecast. For the initial year, staff anticipates that paid parental leave can be paid for from existing personnel budgets. Staff will track the fiscal impact over the first year and if costs exceed personnel budgets, staff will provide a funding recommendation as part of next year’s budget development cycle.

“Today’s action by the Board of County Commissioners further reinforces that our County is a great place to work and live,” said Leon County Commission Chairman John E. Dailey. “I know first hand how important the first few weeks of being a parent can be, and this policy shows the County’s support during this time.”

The County’s new policy allows employees to retain their accumulated sick and annual leave for use when they return from parental leave. Previously, new parents could return with little to no accumulated leave, which could lead to hardships when they needed time off in the future.

“The County’s new paid parental leave policy demonstrates our commitment to being an employer of choice,” said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. “I applaud the Board for approving this policy.”

By adopting this policy, Leon County becomes a leader among a growing number of local governments in Florida to offer paid parental leave.

“This is a great policy for Leon County and it is also a national best practice,” said Leon County Commissioner and National Association of Counties President Bryan Desloge. “From my travels across the nation, I can truly say the work we are doing here in Leon County makes us a leader in the public sector.”

23 Responses to Leon County Approves Six Weeks of Paid Parental Leave to New Parents

  1. Jay Bird Reply

    July 12, 2017 at 5:37 am

    Well, we’ll need a tax increase for sure.

  2. Jon Reply

    July 12, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Dont suppose us singles get 6 weeks of leave for one of our life choices.

    • daisyduck Reply

      July 12, 2017 at 11:52 am

      You’re right, Jon. Nurturing a new life is one of the most important life choices there is.

      • MT Reply

        July 12, 2017 at 3:14 pm

        If the choice is to have it.

  3. Vernon Reply

    July 12, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    This will most definitely require tax increases on a regular basis. County Taxpayers that earn less money and do not have these liberal benefits will be forced to subsidize these benefits. Until 60-70% of private employers are providing like benefits, taxpayers should not be asked to pay this.

    The elderly already pay a large city and county school tax in their property tax bill long after their own kids are grown, and incremental benefit increases will eventually become a huge financial drain on the county. Add this to the retirement obligations growing each year and before long there will be a crisis to deal with, and the taxpayers always are stuck holding the bag. And as with all free government programs,fraud and abuse will run rampant. Who will be held responsible? Is there a cap on runaway costs? or a sunset clause if it doesnt work out?

    • daisyduck Reply

      July 12, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      The old always complain about having to pay for the young. Sit, whine, complain and collect their retirement. And I am sure many of you say you are “pro-life.” Yet, you don’t want to support the new “life.” What if providing the leave helps someone who might otherwise feel they have to end a pregnancy. People need to have kids so they can pay into a retirement system they will never collect from to sustain old grumps like you.

      • Dirk Dynamic Reply

        July 12, 2017 at 8:31 pm

        Where do you draw the line at Daisy? You know, where I don’t “hate” children? How about an 18 year paid leave? Where does this stuff end?

  4. Dirk Dynamic Reply

    July 12, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    OPM – Other People’s Money.

  5. Preston Scott Reply

    July 13, 2017 at 5:27 am

    First, life is precious. Sadly, a few, like “DaisyDuck,” are drawing false conclusions to justify an irrational point. If a private business wants to offer paid “parental” leave, it is its right to do so as an incentive for workers. Forcing taxpayers to do so is flatly wrong. Folks, like “DaisyDuck,” need to test the courage of their convictions and walk around their neighborhood, apartment complex, workplace and ask everyone for, say $100, and explain they want the money so they can stay home for a while after having a child. Let me know how that works out. Elected leaders are wonderful at spending others’ money. I applaud couples for choosing to have children, I condemn expecting others to pay for it.

  6. Marc Bauer Reply

    July 13, 2017 at 6:10 am

    As an operator, I can tell you this is a pretty rich benefit. I would be interested to see the report that details the forecasted expense. Surely its public record.

  7. Jimmy Reply

    July 13, 2017 at 7:57 am

    I’m trying to understand why my tax dollars are being used for this, especially since there is a deficit in the budget. Oh that’s right, per the Democrat this morning, “Cost projections for implementing the new policy haven’t been forecast yet, Cavell said”. These people should be ashamed.

  8. James Anderson Reply

    July 13, 2017 at 10:48 am

    It is easy to spend taxpayers money.

  9. Curtis Baynes

    Curtis Baynes Reply

    July 13, 2017 at 11:45 am

    I am not sure how big a issue people should make of this. Granted, county and city staff are notorious for their lack of quantitative analysis skills, so items presented to the commission too frequently have “no fiscal impact” or “cannot be determined” for a fiscal impact. This essentially puts decision makers (i.e., city and county commissioners) in the position of making decisions without any knowledge of what their decisions cost. The parental leave issue is no exception. In the absence of information from county staff, I estimate this policy will probably affect 4 or 5 employees each year and “cost” the county $120,000 to $175,000 per year, depending upon how fertile you think county staff is and how much they earn per year. In any event, the first year is to be paid from existing funds. Staff is supposed to monitor parental leave next year and and request any new resources, if any, the following year. Maybe decision makers will have better information next year.

    • daisyduck Reply

      July 13, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      This is a reasonable response. It’s not like people who work there are having 100’s or even dozens of kids per year. Family-friendly workplaces are a family value.

    • Curtis Baynes

      Curtis Baynes Reply

      July 13, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      A quick point of clarification: I am guessing there are probably 24 to 40 births or adoptions by county EMPLOYEES each year. Because we are talking about 6 weeks (i.e., 42 days out of the year), that amounts to about 0.115 years per parent. Twenty-four to 40 parents per year times 0.115 years per parent works out to about two to five FTE (i.e., full time equivalent). Of course, in the absence of anything from the county, my guess is just as good as anyone else’s. Multiply two to five FTE times an employee’s earnings and one gets the potential cost in terms of budget and/or productivity.

      • Vernon Reply

        July 14, 2017 at 2:22 pm

        Curtis, you are overlooking the potential for fraud and abuse. You may be surprised at how many “adoptions” occur when you get 6 weeks of paid vacation for doing it. Also, has an oversight committee been set up to monitor the program, and how much will the oversight cost?

    • Preston Scott Reply

      July 14, 2017 at 5:40 am

      It does not matter Curtis. Whether it is one or a thousand. This is principle and precedent. How did we get to the tax code we have now? It started small and relatively insignificant. After the 16th Amendment was passed a member of Congress was mocked and ridiculed when he suggested there was nothing to stop the government from taking far more than 3% (the highest rate at the time). Asking the public to pay for people to have children is insanity…local, state, national. What is the next “benefit” the taxpayers will be asked to cover?

    • From the cheap seats Reply

      July 16, 2017 at 11:41 pm

      I agree with your cost assessment of the cost being around $150,000 to $200,000 per year. Based on a payroll of how many millions annually, the cost is nominal. For a 6 week gap, existing staff should be able to cover. The idea that something of this level needs a referendum is humorous. From the County’s perspective, the benefit makes the County more attractive as an employer, with the possibility of attracting more talented employees, as well as creating a better work environment for the existing base. Better motivation, better productivity. Not necessarily a de facto loser.

  10. Snidley Wiplash Reply

    July 13, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    The state of Florida has been doing this 6 week thing for Moms and Dads for quite some time.
    In addition if a medical issue is documented the Mom may qualify for up to 8 total months paid leave.

  11. Dave Reply

    July 14, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Response to Snidley. Unless the policy has changed recently, State of Florida employees must use their own accrued leave or leave without pay when they take such leave. The State of Florida does not foot the bill.

  12. Todd Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Please… Like the man said there are 30 to 40 births a yr… Deal with it.. Are u so heartless that u want mothers to go back to work, just like that… And that all u people that are crying about paying for this or school taxs… We SUPPORT UR ASSES NOW AND WHEN U GET OLD… U WILL BE IN A NURSEING HOME… I PAY FOR THAT.!!!! So STFU…

  13. BajanCajun Reply

    July 17, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Private businesses should offer this benefit when able, if we want it to become the norm. And we in turn should support it by paying more for goods and services from family-friendly businesses. Choices versus mandates. It is nice to help families to manage work/life balance, but most taxpayers themselves do not receive this benefit. They will work additional hours away from their own families in order to fund it for county workers.
    My own work was done primarily by phone and computer, so the weeks after my twins birth were quite productive. Newborns sleep for hours at a stretch, throughout the day. My work was not affected until they were slightly older and the naptimes dwindled. Since we are discussing the addition of benfits within a deficit context, why not offer employees “light duty” (at-home tasks such as data analysis, phone work) during this period? The county could address this more creatively, offering employees flexibility in such a way that taxpayers still receive productive service for their money.

  14. Phil Reply

    July 19, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    We should have a national policy of 6 months of paid parental leave for all workers. It will make us stronger, smarter, and healthier as a country. Let’s build a few less aircraft carriers or nuclear subs and we could afford these benefits.

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